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King George IV

5 of 193 portraits of King George IV

King George IV, by Sir Thomas Lawrence, circa 1814 - NPG 123 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King George IV

by Sir Thomas Lawrence
oil on canvas, circa 1814
36 in. x 28 in. (914 mm x 711 mm)
Purchased, 1861
Primary Collection
NPG 123

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Sitterback to top

  • King George IV (1762-1830), Regent 1811-19; Reigned 1820-30. Sitter associated with 193 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 683 portraits, Sitter in 25 portraits.

This portraitback to top

Alongside his gambling, drinking and gluttony, George, Prince of Wales was notorious for his serial amorous adventures. His most extreme seduction campaign came when he met the beautiful Catholic widow Mrs Fitzherbert in 1784. She resisted his advances, but George was not going to take 'no' for an answer. He proposed despite being forbidden, as heir to the throne, to marry a Catholic.Maria declined and made plans to flee the country until she received word that 'The Prince has stabbed himself. Only you can save his life.' When she arrived, she found herself coerced into marriage and a ring slipped onto her finger. Despite the secrecy that shrouded their relationship,
by George's standards it was amazingly enduring, lasting until 1805. Even after a succession of other mistresses and his failed marriage to Princess Caroline, his love for Maria never faded. Her portrait in miniature was found around his neck when he died and it was buried with him.

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