King George IV
- Extended Catalogue Entry
King George IV
by Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey
pencil, circa 1821
18 in. x 12 3/4 in. (458 mm x 323 mm)
Given by Mrs George Jones, 1871
Sitterback to top
- King George IV (1762-1830), Regent 1811-19; Reigned 1820-30. Sitter associated with 273 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Sir Francis Leggatt Chantrey (1781-1841), Sculptor. Artist associated with 267 portraits, Sitter in 11 portraits.
This portraitback to top
Chantrey secured a number of royal commissions, helping to define the public image of three monarchs. This drawing was made for a marble bust, possibly commissioned by the king himself. Chantrey was aware of the disparity between the king's public and private persona, evident in the differences between his drawing and the idealised bust. In one anecdote he described how the king would receive him, 'in bed in a dirty flannel waistoat and cotton nightcap…he generally walked about his room all morning in bare legs.' The bust proved lucrative for Chantrey, his studio made a version every year. Chantrey's bronze equestrian statue of George IV is in Trafalgar Square.
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- From Pencil to Chisel: Sir Francis Chantrey's Portrait Drawings (2 April 2011 - 20 November 2011)
Portrait setback to top
Events of 1821back to top
Current affairsGeorge IV is crowned at Westminster Abbey on 19 July and Queen Caroline is turned away from the ceremony. Two weeks later she dies reawakening popular sympathy for her cause. Riots break out at her funeral as the Government attempts to reroute the procession to avoid the popular reaction of the mob.
Art and scienceThomas De Quincey publishes Confessions of an English Opium Eater in the London Magazine. A creative commentary on his mental life, it gained instant notoriety.
The Manchester Guardian (later The Guardian) established.
Michael Faraday builds the first electric motor.
Revolts in Wallachia and Moldovia against the oppressive rule of the Ottoman Turks. The rebels appeal to Tsar Alexander I for help and the Greek War of Independence begins.
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