'The Music Party'
'The Music Party'
by Philip Mercier
oil on canvas, 1733
17 3/4 in. x 22 3/4 in. (451 mm x 578 mm)
Click on the links below to find out more:
Sittersback to top
- Princess Amelia Sophia Eleanora (1711-1786), Second daughter of George II. Sitter associated with 7 portraits.
- Anne, Princess Royal and Princess of Orange (1709-1759), Daughter of King George II; wife of William Charles Henry Friso, Prince of Orange. Sitter associated with 24 portraits.
- Princess Caroline Elizabeth (1713-1757), Third daughter of George II. Sitter associated with 14 portraits.
- Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales (1707-1751), Son of George II; father of George III. Sitter associated with 35 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Philip Mercier (1691-1760), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 26 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
George II did not allow his son Frederick to come to London until the age of twenty. The prince soon established himself as a focus of political opposition to his father and became the patron of the most avant-garde artists of the time. In this portrait the 26-year-old Prince is shown playing the violoncello with three of his younger sisters; from left to right, Anne, Princess Royal (age 24) at the harpsichord, Princess Caroline (age 20) plucking a mandora (a form of lute) and Princess Amelia (age 22) reading from Milton. In the background is the Dutch House at Kew where Anne lived before her marriage in 1734 to Prince William of Orange. The suggestion of harmony between the siblings belies the antipathy felt by his family for Frederick; it is said that he was hardly on speaking terms with Anne in the year that this portrait was painted. More detailed information on this portrait is available in a National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue, John Kerslake's Early Georgian Portraits (1977, out of print).
Linked publicationsback to top
- I-Spy National Portrait Gallery, 2010, p. 25
- Audio Guide
- Bennett, Sue, Five Centuries of Women and Gardens, 2000 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 5 October 2000 to 21 January 2001), p. 57
- Kerslake, John, Early Georgian Portraits, 1977, p. 338
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 109
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 122
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery: An Illustrated Guide, 2000, p. 88
- Saumarez Smith, Charles, The National Portrait Gallery, 1997, p. 88
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 713
Placesback to top
- Place portrayed: United Kingdom: England, London (sitter's home, Kew Palace, Kew Gardens, London)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1733back to top
Current affairsPrime Minister Robert Walpole narrowly escapes defeat in the House of Lords over the investigation into the South Sea affair. His Excise scheme, introduced the previous year, also provokes widespread resistance among merchants and is withdrawn.
Sugar and Molasses Act is passed by Parliament to tax British colonists in North America.
Art and scienceJohn Kay, working in the Lancashire woollen industry, patents the flying shuttle to speed up weaving.
Poet Alexander Pope publishes his philosophical Essay on Man, which proposes a system of ethics in poetic form.
Clergyman Stephen Hales publishes the second volume of his Statical Essays, Haemastaticks, describing the measurement of the 'force of the blood', later known as blood pressure.
InternationalPhilip V of Spain and Louis XV of France sign the Treaty of Escurial and form an alliance against Britain.
Voltaire publishes Letters on the English Nation comparing France unfavourably with England.
British colonist James Oglethorpe founds Savannah, Georgia.