King George IV
- Extended Catalogue Entry
King George IV
by Richard Cosway
watercolour on ivory, 1792
2 3/4 in. x 2 1/4 in. (70 mm x 57 mm) oval
Sitterback to top
- King George IV (1762-1830), Regent 1811-19; Reigned 1820-30. Sitter associated with 200 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Richard Cosway (1742-1821), Miniature painter. Artist associated with 97 portraits, Sitter in 15 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This miniature depicts George, Prince of Wales in van Dyck-style masquerade costume with a heavily powdered grey wig. It is mounted in a fine gold locket with a 'true-love' lock of plaited hair on the reverse. The precious and intimate nature of this object suggests that it was intended as a love-token for either Mrs Fitzherbert or Mrs Crouch, the Prince's two lovers in 1792.
Linked publicationsback to top
Events of 1792back to top
Current affairsThe famous seven year trial of Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal, on charges of embezzlement and murder, ends with his acquittal. Pro-Revolutionary philosopher Joseph Priestley's house is destroyed by a mob on the anniversary of the fall of the Bastille. Their actions are later seen as a key moment in the defeat of Enlightenment ideals in England.
Art and scienceMary Wollstonecraft publishes A Vindication of the Rights of Woman; a radical work which called on women to be allies to one another; fearless in their support and free in their criticism.
Sir Joshua Reynolds dies and is succeeded by Benjamin West as President of the Royal Academy.
InternationalThe mob invades the Tuileries and the French Royal Family is imprisoned marking the end of France's experiment with constitutional monarchy and the declaration of the first French Republic.
The Revolutionary Commune is established in Paris.
France declares war on Austria and then Prussia.
See this portrait
On display in the Room 17 miniature case at the National Portrait Gallery
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Help us conserve a portrait of a female adventurer, poet and medical pioneer