King George I
King George I
replica by Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt
oil on canvas, 1716, based on a work of 1714
97 1/4 in. x 59 3/4 in. (2470 mm x 1518 mm)
Artistback to top
- Sir Godfrey Kneller, Bt (1646-1723), Portrait painter. Artist associated with 1684 portraits, Sitter associated with 30 portraits.
This portraitback to top
The purpose of royal portraiture was not individual depiction but the representation of power. Artists conveyed this symbolically using traditional poses and symbols: crown, sceptre, orb and ermine robes of state. This repetition helped assert the continuity of the Royals. Although not great art patrons, such propaganda was important to George I and his son George II. In order to ensure a Protestant succession these Hanoverian rulers, from Germany, had come to the British throne in 1714. They faced constant challenge from the rebellious Catholic Jacobites until they were quashed in 1745.
Linked publicationsback to top
- 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. 149 Read entry
Painted by Sir Godfrey Kneller, the most eminent portrait artist working in Britain at the time, this is one of many contemporary versions of George I's coronation portrait. The royal regalia and the richness of his surroundings convey his power and status rather than his personality.
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 240
- Williamson, David, Kings and Queens, 2010, p. 130
- Williamson, David, The National Portrait Gallery: History of the Kings and Queens of England, 1998, p. 131
Events of 1714back to top
Current affairsQueen Anne dies at Kensington Palace aged 49, on 1st August. The same day, under the Act of Regency, the regency council proclaims James I's great-grandson, George, elector of Hanover, king of Great Britain and Ireland, thus transferring the crown from the house of Stuart to the house of Hanover.
Art and scienceWriter and politician, Sir Richard Steele, accepts the post of governorship for the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.
Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Tenison, founds one of the first co-educational schools in Croydon.
The Longitude Act offers a reward for the invention of a method of precisely determining a ship's longitude.