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Robert King Carter

Robert King Carter
Usage Conditions Apply
Unidentified Artist
Robert King Carter, 1663 - 4 Aug 1732
c. 1720
Oil on canvas
Stretcher: 126 x 99.4 x 3.8cm (49 5/8 x 39 1/8 x 1 1/2")
Frame: 147.3 x 122.2 x 7.6cm (58 x 48 1/8 x 3")
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
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Object number
Exhibition Label
As befitting his nickname, Robert "King" Carter was arguably the most powerful Virginian during the first third of the eighteenth century. First elected to Virginia's House of Burgesses in 1691, Carter actively involved himself in politics, twice serving as Speaker of the House and once as governor. Like many Virginians, he was proud of his English heritage, yet was also passionate in defending Virginia's rights within the British empire. As a merchant and tobacco planter, Carter amassed one of the largest fortunes in colonial America. At his death he owned 300,000 acres of land-roughly half the size of Rhode Island today-and oversaw the operation of forty-five plantations and more than 700 slaves. In this portrait, he conveys the self-assured sense of independence that was characteristic of those Virginians who would later revolt against their English rulers.
(David Stockwell,Wilmington, Del.); purchased 1968 NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
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National Portrait Gallery Collection