Portrait of George IV of England
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Portrait of George IV of England

Thomas Lawrence
(Bristol 1769 - London 1830)
Portrait of George IV of England, 1816
oil on canvas
cm. 292 x 204
cat. 40448

The painting, signed and dated 1816, shows the Prince Regent, the future king George IV of England, and it was probably given by him to Pius VII ( pontiff from 1800 to 1823) after his ascent to the throne of England (1820) in the climate of cooperation that was established between the United Kingdom and the Holy See on the morrow of the fall of Napoleon. It is a real historical portrait: George IV, decorated with the badges of the highest orders of knights (that of the Garter is recognized - on his left leg - and that of the Golden Fleece), is portrayed standing, larger than life, next to a table that was given to him by the king of France, Louis XVIII, on which lie his crown and a letter from Pope Pius VII himself. The portrait celebrates the client, whose royalty is underlined by the sumptuous richness of his clothes.
Sir Thomas Lawrence, the English painter who was Joshua Reynolds' heir and his successor in the role of official court painter, was one of the most famous English portrait painters of the 19th century.