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Accompanies the major exhibition

John Russell (1745-1806)

George IV (1762-1830), when Prince of Wales Signed and dated 1791

Oil on canvas | 250.2 x 180.3 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405414

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The Prince of Wales was interested in his self-image. This flattering, athletic portrait was commissioned by him as a prize for a meeting of the Royal Kentish Bowmen. As president of the society, he is dressed in their green uniform. He leans on the pedestal of a statue of Diana, the classical goddess of hunting and chastity. He is not yet overly fat, yet something of his epicurean character is suggested by his pose, hair and expression. His brother once tried to lure him to a Kentish Bowmen dinner by promising him turtle and venison, served in tents in rural Surrey. This painting was commissioned by the Prince of Wales as a prize for a meeting of the Bowmen in the 1790s and was bought by his great-nephew King Edward VII in 1908.

Inscribed: Painted by J. Russell R.A. Crayon Painter to His Majesty and His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, 1791