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  • Portrait of Queen Charlotte, the Wife of George III

    Artist:
    Dance, Nathaniel. 1735-1811
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    240x147 cm

Dance, Nathaniel. 1735-1811

Portrait of Queen Charlotte, the Wife of George III

Great Britain, 1773-1774

Sophia-Charlotte, wife of King George III of England, is here seen in a typical example of an official portrait intended as a diplomatic gift. Behind it lies the kind of composition created by van Dyck in the 17th century for such works: the Queen stands in her official robes and with all the regalia of power against a background of colonnade and drapery (with Westminster Abbey visible in the background). The painting is very professional but lacking in character. Its greatest interest lies in the story of how the portrait reached Russia. Through the British ambassador in Russia, Lord Cathcart, Nathaniel Dance was commissioned to paint paired portraits of King George (also in the Hermitage) and his wife. Both portraits would seem to have then been presented by George III to Catherine the Great, who intended them for the Chesme Palace, her favourite resting place on the road from St Petersburg to her beloved summer residence at Tsarskoe Selo. This palace was built in the style of a Gothic castle and housed a portrait gallery of all the crowned heads of Europe and members of their family. Catherine asserted her right to belong to this gathering, although she came to power in 1762 as the result of a coup d'etat in which her husband, Peter II, was overthrown, and she sought to use every means at her disposal, including art, to emphasise the legitimacy of her rule.

Title:

Portrait of Queen Charlotte, the Wife of George III

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

240x147 cm

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-9565

Category:

Collection: