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Robert King Carter

Robert King Carter
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")
Interior\Interior with Exterior View
Equipment\Walking stick\Cane
Costume\Hair Accessory\Wig
Robert King Carter: Male
Robert King Carter: Religion and Spirituality
Robert King Carter: Politics and Government\Statesman\Colonial Statesman
Robert King Carter: Education\Administrator\University administrator\University trustee
Robert King Carter: Society and Social Change\Philanthropist\Benefactor
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Lancaster County, Virginia
As befit his nickname, Robert “King” Carter was a powerful eighteenth-century Virginia politician. First elected to the colony’s House of Burgesses in 1691, the “King” served as Speaker of the House (1696–98; 1699), treasurer (1699–1705), and acting governor of the colony (1726–27).
Like many Virginians during this time, Carter was proud of his English heritage yet also passionate in defending the colony’s rights within the empire. As a merchant and tobacco planter, he amassed one of the largest fortunes in British America. At his death, he owned nearly three hundred thousand acres of land—the entire “Northern Neck” of Virginia—and oversaw the operation of almost fifty plantations with more than seven hundred enslaved persons. In this portrait, he conveys the self-assured sense of independence characteristic of those Virginians who would later revolt against their English rulers.
Nacido en Lancaster County, Virginia
Como corresponde a su apodo, Robert “El Rey” Carter fue un político poderoso de Virginia en el siglo XVIII. En 1691 fue elegido para la Cámara de Burgueses de la colonia, siendo luego presidente de la Cámara (1696–98; 1699), tesorero (1699–1705) y gobernador interino de la colonia (1726–27).
Como muchos virginianos de la época, Carter estaba orgulloso de su herencia inglesa, pero también era un ferviente defensor de los derechos de la colonia dentro del imperio. Como comerciante y hacendado tabacalero, amasó una de las mayores fortunas en la América británica. A su muerte, tenía casi 300,000 acres de tierra (toda la península
“Northern Neck” en Virginia) y controlaba casi 50 plantaciones con más de 700 trabajadores esclavizados. En este retrato proyecta el carácter de seguridad e independencia típico de los virginianos que luego se rebelarían contra sus gobernantes ingleses.
(David Stockwell,Wilmington, Del.); purchased 1968 NPG.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
2022 Rehang of Out of Many: Portraits from 1600 to 1900
On View
NPG, East Gallery 144