Seventeenth-Century Paintings Return to Windsor Castle after 150 Years

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By Grace Witherden

WINDSOR, United Kingdom (Ascot Windsor & Eton Express) – Visitors at Windsor Castle will get to see two newly conserved paintings by the mysterious 17th-century Armenian artist Marcos. The paintings have been installed in the King’s Dining Room at Windsor Castle for the first time in 150 years. They were last recorded within the castle in the early 1870s.

Staff at Windsor Castle move the portraits into place in the King’s Dining Room

Marcos is otherwise unknown and it is not known how or when the paintings arrived in England. They were first recorded as hanging at Windsor Castle in James II’s inventory in 1688, and subsequently hung at Kensington Palace and Hampton Court Palace.

The striking portraits underwent a conservation work to remove yellowed varnish.

A Royal Collection Trust conservator undertakes final checks before the paintings are installed in the King’s Dining Room.

The works of art show a member of the military aristocracy and an unmarried woman from New Julfa, the Armenian district of Isfahan, which was the cosmopolitan capital of Persia in the 17th century.

The figures are dressed in luxurious fabrics including Persian silks, which the Armenians of Isfahan famously traded across the globe. Both portraits include European details, such as a Venetian wine glass, a German clock and Dutch flowers, signifying affluence through access to luxury international commodities.

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