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Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales

© National Portrait Gallery, London

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Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales

by Robert Cooper, published by George Smeeton, after John Massey Wright
stipple engraving, published 12 September 1818
16 3/8 in. x 12 5/8 in. (416 mm x 320 mm) paper size
acquired unknown source, 1957
Reference Collection
NPG D33519

Sitterback to top

Artistsback to top

  • Robert Cooper (active 1795-died 1828), Historical and portrait engraver. Artist associated with 190 portraits.
  • George Smeeton (active 1800-1828), Printer and publisher. Artist associated with 15 portraits.
  • John Massey Wright (1777-1866), Watercolourist. Artist associated with 3 portraits, Sitter in 1 portrait.

This portraitback to top

The artistic lament for Princess Charlotte continued long into the year following her death. Picking up on the theme of the fallen rose, this newly conceived, melancholic portrayal of the deceased princess, presents her holding the symbolic flower as an emblem of all that England has lost, and as a signifier of her ideal virtues, which are celebrated in the accompanying verse. Allowing for popular sentiment driven by 'the enthusiasm of sorrow', which he noted was inclined to regard the princess as 'a promised Elizabeth', the artist Sir Thomas Lawrence stated his certain belief 'that she would have been a true monarch'.

Placesback to top

Events of 1818back to top

Current affairs

Death of Charlotte Sophia of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, George III's Queen since 1761.
Official enquiry initiated into Queen Caroline's conduct abroad.

Art and science

Mary Shelley anonymously publishes her masterpiece Frankenstein; or, the Modern Prometheus which reflects growing concern about the role of morality in science.
Lord Byron completes his romance Childe Harolde's Pilgrimage, whose gloomy, dissolute hero was probably based on the writer himself.

International

Stamford Raffles acquires authorisation to construct a fort at Singapore marking the beginning of its development as a centre of East-West trade.
Congress of European Alliance at Aix-La-Chapelle. Lord Castlereagh plays a central role in establishing a pan-Europe peace settlement to bring a chastened France back into the world of political respectability.

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