Skip to main content
The Wilton Diptych
English or French (?)
/

This small, portable altarpiece is one of a handful of English panel paintings to have survived from the Middle Ages. Made for Richard II, King of England from 1377 to 1399, in the last five years of his life, it combines religious and secular imagery to embody his personal conception of kingship.

On the inside the King is presented to the Virgin and Christ Child by Edmund and Edward the Confessor, England’s patron saints, and his personal patron, John the Baptist. Richard holds out his hands to give or receive the standard with the red and white cross, the arms of Saint George. Christ raises his hand to bless the standard and with it, Richard’s rule.

Richard’s emblem of a white hart, or stag, is shown on the outside, and as badges worn by the host of angels. The King adopted this symbol from his mother, but it also acted as a visual pun on his name (Richart in French).

Key facts
Artist English or French (?)
Full title Richard II presented to the Virgin and Child by his Patron Saint John the Baptist and Saints Edward and Edmund ('The Wilton Diptych')
Date made about 1395-9
Medium and support Egg on oak
Dimensions 53 x 37 cm
Acquisition credit Bought with a special grant and contributions from Samuel Courtauld, Viscount Rothermere, C.T. Stoop and the Art Fund, 1929
Inventory number NG4451
Location in Gallery Room 51
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo