The present portrait is a copy painted by Kneller after the original by Sir Anthony van Dyck, now in The Newport Restoration Foundation, Rhode Island. It represents the Prince of Wales, later Charles II, in military costume, wearing the garter and ribbon of the Order and resting his hand on a staff. Based on the script and German spelling of the artist's first name in the signature, the work likely dates to circa 1660-6, before his arrival in England. This style of signature can be found on a portrait dated 1666 of John Philipp von Schönborn.
Sir Godfrey Kneller was born in Germany and was an apprentice in Amsterdam to Ferdinand Bol, or possibly Rembrandt, in the 1660s. Between 1672 and 1675 he was in Rome and Venice, studying the work of Gianlorenzo Bernini and Carlo Maratti, though none of his paintings from this period survive. By the end of the decade he had moved to London and was soon renowned as a fashionable portraitist. He was made Principal Painter to the Crown at the accession of William and Mary in 1688; he held this post jointly with John Riley until the latter's death in 1691, after which Kneller held the office alone. He was knighted in 1692, and made a baronet in 1715. Kneller maintained a sizeable studio, which likely accounts for the varying quality of his output, but those portraits by the master's own hand demonstrate an impressive likeness and lively, virtuoso technique.