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St James's Park and the Mall

c. 1745

RCIN 405954

Polite society gathered outdoors in the eighteenth century. The public park and the commercial pleasure-garden became increasingly popular places to see and to be seen. In this painting of St James’s Park, Frederick, Prince of Wales, recognisable in the centre by his prominent Garter ribbon and star, can be seen mingling with the public. Soldiers, sailors, prostitutes and milkmaids mingle with polite company in the park. For the first time in the depiction of a royal park, topographical detail is secondary to observation and satire.

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