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King George IV

1 of 3 portraits on display in Room 17 at the National Portrait Gallery

King George IV, by Richard Cosway, circa 1780-1782 - NPG 5890 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

King George IV

by Richard Cosway
watercolour on ivory, circa 1780-1782
3 7/8 in. x 2 7/8 in. (98 mm x 73 mm) oval
Purchased, 1986
Primary Collection
NPG 5890


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Sitterback to top

  • King George IV (1762-1830), Regent 1811-19; Reigned 1820-30. Sitter associated with 182 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Richard Cosway (1742-1821), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 96 portraits, Sitter in 15 portraits.

This portraitback to top

This miniature of the Prince as an elegant, fashion conscious young man may have been commissioned as a gift for the actress Mary 'Perdita' Robinson, the Prince's mistress in 1782. It was one of Cosway's first miniatures for George who appointed him 'Painter to the Prince of Wales' in 1785. Over the following twenty years, Cosway - a supreme connoisseur - was also the Prince's leading advisor on artistic matters.

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