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Richard Houston (1721-75)

Princess Charlotte of Mecklenburg Strelitz 1761

Mezzotint | 35.2 x 25.2 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 604571

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  • Mezzotint of Queen Charlotte as princess of Mecklebnburg Strelitz. Half length with hair braided around head, low, loose gown, and mantle fastened with a jewelled clasp. With English inscription below, including publisher's address, 'London, Printed for Robt. Sayer at the Golden Buck in Fleet street.' Second state, cut down.

    This portrait, published in 1761, was at the heart of a dispute between well known publishers Robert Sayer and John Bowles & Son. In advance of the marriage between George III and Sophia Charlotte of Mecklebnburg Strelitz there was a demand for, and a notable absence of, portraits of the soon to be Queen. In response to this demand Robert Sayer and John Bowles & Son jointly advertised the publication of a new mezzotint of the Princess by Richard Houston, 'done from a miniature picture.' Following it's publication, the print was exposed to be a copy of a portrait of a Mrs Penelope Pitt, a noted beauty. In response to the accusation, John Bowles & Son withdrew their names from the publication line and the second state here, lists Robert Sayer as the lone publisher. A third state of this plate exists, RCIN 660175, where Sayer altered the artist and engraver to Katherine Reed and Charles Corbutt and changed the title to the correct sitter, Mrs Penelope Pitt.
  • Medium and techniques

    Mezzotint

    Measurements

    35.2 x 25.2 cm (sheet of paper)

    30.8 x 25.0 cm (image)

  • Category
    Object type(s)

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