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Queen Anne and the Knights of the Garter

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- place 'London'

Later Stuart Portraits Catalogue

Queen Anne and the Knights of the Garter

by Peter Angelis
circa 1725
24 3/8 in. x 29 1/2 in. (620 mm x 750 mm) overall
NPG 624

Inscriptionback to top

Signed, lower left: P. Angelis: F/17..

This portraitback to top

NPG 624 may show the installation of a Knight of the Garter, probably at Kensington Palace. [1] The heads are very generalised. [2] Angelis had arrived in London in 1712 and between then and the Queen’s death in 1714 there was a single installation ceremony, on 4 August 1713 at Kensington Palace [3] (rather than Windsor, due to the Queen’s poor health).
Robert Raines first suggested [4] that the subject was intended to be part of a general history of Queen Anne, painted retrospectively and specifically for engraving. The prominence of the foreground page and Yeomen of the Guard, and the curious, outsized, head looking in through the far window, encourage the supposition. NPG 624 is the same size and is stylistically allied to the three interior scenes Angelis painted c.1722 as part of a History of Charles I - a series of paintings by French and Flemish painters engraved in 1727-28 (the first painted and engraved historical sequence to be made in England). [5] But the Anne sequence, if such was intended, appears not to have progressed; her life lacked the drama and anecdote of Charles’s.

Footnotesback to top

1) It is illustrated as the investiture of a Knight by Queen Anne in Een Kouseband voor Oranje, Het Loo, 1990, p 7.
2) The Garter prelate, seen at the bottom left-hand corner of the window, most resembles Duppa, who died in 1662 (and his broad collar appears to be Carolean).
3) When four knights only were present (the Dukes of Argyll, Buckinghamshire, Northumberland and Ormond) and the Earl of Peterborough was elected (G. F. Beltz, Memorials of the Most Noble order of the Garter, 1841, p cxxiv).
4) Letter of 8 September 1985; NPG archive.
5) For which, see R. Raines & K. Sharpe, Connoisseur, CLXXXIV, 1973, pp 38-46, and CLXXXVI, 1974, pp 192-95. The nine surviving paintings from the series were sold Christie’s, 15 November 1996, lots 10-18.

Referenceback to top

Piper 1963
D. Piper, Catalogue of the Seventeenth Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery 1625-1714, 1963, p 392, pl.32a.

Provenanceback to top

[?Edward Harman, Clay Hill, Enfield; his sale, Christie’s, 27ff. May 1847, lot 296, ‘P. Angelies, Queen Anne ratifying the Union, with numerous portraits of noblemen of the period’, bought Garcia] W. Ruck, Cheltenham, from whom purchased 1881.

Exhibitionsback to top

Kensington Palace 1899–after 1928; Handel, NPG 1985, no.52; Een Kouseband voor Oranje, Het Loo and Apeldoorn, 1990(4); Beningbrough 1979–2004.


This extended catalogue entry is from the National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Later Stuart Portraits 1685-1714, National Portrait Gallery, 2009, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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