Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick
by Sir Thomas Lawrence
oil on canvas, 1804
55 1/4 in. x 44 in. (1403 mm x 1118 mm)
Sitterback to top
- Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick (1768-1821), Queen of George IV. Sitter in 101 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), Portrait painter, collector and President of the Royal Academy. Artist associated with 689 portraits, Sitter in 25 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This portrait of Caroline of Brunswick was painted after her separation from the Prince of Wales. Thomas Lawrence - rumoured to be among her lovers - depicts her here in defiant mood, her left hand and wedding ring deep in shadow. Her dress is of striking red velvet. Its ruff of fine muslin and 'rolled-up' sleeves, secured with gold braid, illustrate the popularity of the Renaissance as an influence on female court costume at this time. A tight whaleboned corset worn underneath this gown accentuates Caroline's figure. Her matching hat is trimmed with bird-of-paradise feathers and she is heavily rouged. Court fashions were often rather removed from those of the world outside; the outdated hooped dresses of the 1740s, for example, were still worn until around 1820.
Linked publicationsback to top
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- Cannadine, Sir David (Introduction); Cooper, Tarnya; Stewart, Louise; MacGibbon, Rab; Cox, Paul; Peltz, Lucy; Moorhouse, Paul; Broadley, Rosie; Jascot-Gill, Sabina, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, 2018 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA, 7 October 2018 -3 February 2019. Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia, 16 March - 14 July 2019.), p. 152 Read entry
Thomas Lawrence's portrait captures Caroline of Brunswick in a definat mood after her separation from the Prince of Wales. She was taking sculpture lessons at the time and is shown with a modelling tool and clay bust of her father, reflecting her allegiance to her family rather than her estranged husband. She engages the viewer with a confident gaze, while her left hand and wedding ring are hidden by shadow.
- Clarke, Tim, Countess : the scandalous life of Frances Villiers, Countess of Jersey / Tim Clarke., 2016, plate 20
- Holmes, Richard; Crane, David; Woof, Robert; Hebron, Stephen, Romantics and Revolutionaries: Regency portraits from the National Portrait Gallery, 2002, p. 80,91
- Ribeiro, Aileen, The Gallery of Fashion, 2000, p. 157
- Ribeiro, Aileen; Blackman, Cally, A Portrait of Fashion: Six Centuries of Dress at the National Portrait Gallery, 2015, p. 161
- Ross, Josephine, Jane Austen and her World, 2017, p. 102
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 105
- Walker, Richard, Regency Portraits, 1985, p. 98
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1804back to top
Current affairsWilliam Pitt returns to office and forms a second coalition administration, retaining many of those who had served under his predecessor Henry Addington but specifically excluding his arch rival Charles James Fox .
Art and scienceWilliam Blake starts writing Jerusalem. One of his most ambitious allegorical poems, it took nearly eight years to complete.
Amidst infighting about submissions to the annual exhibition, attempts are made to unseat painter Benjamin West as President of the Royal Academy and elect architect James Wyatt instead.
InternationalNapoleon declares himself Emperor of France and is crowned as Napoleon I by Pope Pius VII in Paris.
Haiti achieves independence led by Toussaint L'Ouverture, the patriot and martyr who had seized control from the French in 1801. He becomes a symbolic figure of freedom for the British anti-slavery movement.
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