King George IV
King George IV
after Sir Thomas Lawrence
oil on canvas, (1815)
95 in. x 61 in. (2413 mm x 1549 mm)
Bequeathed by Miss Lillie Belle Randell, 1931
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sitterback to top
- King George IV (1762-1830), Regent 1811-19; Reigned 1820-30. Sitter associated with 196 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 684 portraits, Sitter in 25 portraits.
This portraitback to top
As Prince of Wales, Regent, and finally King, George IV's private and public life was a scandal to the nation and a delight to satirists. Vain, self-indulgent and debauched he was, however, a man of exceptional taste and style who is best remembered for his magnificent patronage of the arts.
Linked publicationsback to top
- Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 87
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 242
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 202
- Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 129
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1815back to top
Current affairsJohn and James Leigh Hunt are released from prison after a two year sentence for slandering the Prince of Wales in their outspoken, radical periodical the Examiner.Corn Laws are introduced to protect against the collapse in prices which would inevitably follow peace with France, prompting riots in London.
Art and scienceHumphry Davy invents the miners' safety lamp though its reception is clouded by William Clanny and George Stephenson who present rival models in the same year. British Institution arranges first in innovative series of Old Master exhibitionsprovoking virulent attack on its patrons for neglecting contemporary art.
InternationalNapoleon returns to France from exile in Elba and resumes power until his abdication on 22 June; a period known as the 'Hundred Days'. Battle of Waterloo concludes the Anglo-French struggle that had lasted more than a century. Peace of Vienna establishes Britain's global political, economic and imperial dominance which lasts for the next hundred years.
See this portrait
On display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery