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Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-89)

Princess Augusta (1737-1813), Duchess of Brunswick 1758

Enamel | 3.6 x 3.1 cm (sight) (sight) | RCIN 421846

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  • Princess Augusta (1737-1813) was the eldest daughter of Frederick, Prince of Wales. She married Charles, hereditary prince of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel (1735–1806) in 1764. George III, her brother, did not want Augusta and her husband to be a drain on national finances by remaining in London as his father had wished, and he may also have been unsettled by their popularity, so they left for Germany soon after the wedding. Augusta and her husband had seven children; the marriage, however, was not happy. Augusta was visited by her mother in 1768, but was only allowed to return to Britain in 1772 when her mother was dying. Her husband became duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel in 1780. Augusta was able to spend more time in England after her daughter's marriage to George, Prince of Wales, in 1795, and she eventually took a house in Hanover Square, London, where she died on 23 March 1813. She was buried in St George's Chapel, Windsor.

    Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-1789) was born in Geneva, the son of the goldsmith, Antoine Liotard, and twin brother of the engraver, Michel Liotard. He studied in Geneva and Paris, and travelled extensively in Italy. In Florence, he met Sir William Ponsonby, later earl of Bessborough, and they travelled together to Constantinople (Istanbul) where he stayed for five years. After more European travels, to Vienna where he painted Empress Maria Theresa and the imperial family and court, then to Venice, Darmstadt, Lyons and Geneva, Liotard settled in Paris from 1748 to 1753 as painter to the king, Louis XV, and he became a member of the Academy of St Luke. He visited England twice, in 1753-5 and 1773-4.

    This miniature of Princess Augusta wearing a brooch with a miniature of her father, does not seem to be connected to Liotard's (1702-1789) pastel portrait, one of the 'Nine Portraits of the Royal Family' painted around 1754. It was, according to the inscription on the reverse, painted four years later when she was 21 years old, possibly as a companion to the miniature of her brother, Prince George (RCIN 421856). The brooch is similar to the one worn on her mother's wrist in the double portrait by Gaetano Manini (RCIN 421944).

    A paper on the reverse is inscribed: Princess / Augusta sister / to King George 3rd / now Dutchess of / Brunswick / painted by Liotard / called the Turk / painter / 1758.


    Possibly commissioned by the sitter's mother, Augusta, Princess of Wales, but first recorded in the Royal Collection in 1877

  • Medium and techniques



    3.6 x 3.1 cm (sight) (sight)

    5.3 x 4.8 cm (frame, external)

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