An Interview between Charles I and Oliver Cromwell
Detail from Daniel Maclise (1816-1870), An Interview between Charles I and Oliver Cromwell, 1836. Photo © National Gallery of IrelandCredit

'An Interview between Charles I and Oliver Cromwell' by Daniel Maclise

184 x 235 cm
Oil on canvas
Purchased, 1951

Stop 13 on the First Fortnight Art Trail

In this imagined historical scene, the large, stern figure of English political and military leader Oliver Cromwell (1599-1658) watches a tender moment between King Charles I and his children. Cromwell described himself as someone who was both too excessive in his affections and desires, and also often beset by imaginary dangers.

In the nineteenth century, Cromwell’s mental illness was diagnosed as ‘hypochondriasis’ and ascribed to ‘living in low marshy country’. There was also much evidence of his manic states, including one incident at the signing of the death warrant for King Charles I during which Cromwell and a friend began ‘inking one another’s faces like school boys’.

On display in Room 46, Dargan Wing, Level 3

About First Fortnight Festival

First Fortnight is a charity that challenges mental health prejudice through arts and cultural action. In January 2019, the National Gallery of Ireland is offering an education and engagement programme of events focusing on mindfulness and mental health. This Art Trail is part of the programme. See the full programme of First Fortnight events at the Gallery