17th-Century Armenian Paintings Return to Windsor Castle after 150 years

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

Visitors at Windsor Castle will get to see two newly conserved paintings by the mysterious 17th-century Armenian artist Marcos, The Windsor Express reported on Friday.

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.

An expert carefully cleans the Marcos painting

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 works of art show a member of the military aristocracy and an unmarried woman from New Jugha, 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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