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Attributed to Allan Ramsay (1713-84)

Queen Charlotte (1744-1818) 1761-69

Oil on canvas | 132.8 x 106.9 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 402413

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  • Ramsay had already painted the George III as Prince of Wales in 1758 for John Stuart, 3rd Earl of Bute, George III’s tutor and mentor. The success of that portrait led to Ramsay painting the State Portrait of George III and Queen Charlotte in coronation robes (RCIN 405307 and 405308) amongst other prestigious royal commissions. Ramsay wrote in 1766: ‘I painted, from the life, a whole length picture of him for Hanover, a profile for the coinage, and another whole length which after the Coronation, I, by his Majesties orders dressed in Coronation robes. Soon after her Majesty’s arrival, she likewise did me the honour to sit to me; and these two pictures in coronation robes are the originals from which all the copies ordered by the Lord Chamberlain are painted.’ Through an error John Shackleton (who died in 1767) was reappointed to the post of Principal Painter in Ordinary to George III on the King’s accession. Ramsay, however, was given the title ‘one of His Majesty’s Principal Painters in Ordinary’ and assumed the duties of the King’s painter. His studio in Soho Square was described as being ‘crowded with portraits of His Majesty in every stage of their operation’. The demand for versions of these official State Portraits was immense, from members of the royal family, sovereigns, heads of state, colonial governors, ambassadors, corporations, institutions and courtiers, making them one of the most familiar images of the period. Orders for 150 pairs, 26 of the King alone, 9 of the Queen alone, are listed. Ramsay resolved to ‘give the last painting to all of them with my own hand’ but employed several assistants, the best of whom were David Martin and Philip Reinagle. This and its pair (RCIN 402412 and 402413) are examples of the many version of the State Portraits of George IIII and Queen Charlotte produced by Ramsay's studio, in this case reducing the original full-length formats to three-quarter length.
    Provenance

    Duke of Cambridge collection; Christie's, 11.06.1904, bt. Gooden and Fox (£996 for the pair); Lady Mount-Stephen, by whom left to Queen Mary

  • Medium and techniques

    Oil on canvas

    Measurements

    132.8 x 106.9 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external)

    75.0 x 62.9 cm (support (etc), excluding additions)

  • Other number(s)