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Caroline Wilhelmina of Brandenburg-Ansbach

Caroline Wilhelmina of Brandenburg-Ansbach, by Jacopo Amigoni, 1735 -NPG 4332 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue

Caroline Wilhelmina of Brandenburg-Ansbach

by Jacopo Amigoni
96 in. x 60 in. (2439 mm x 1524 mm)
NPG 4332

Inscriptionback to top


This portraitback to top

One of two versions paid for by the Queen in 1735: 'To Amigoni for drawing two pictures of Her Majesty whole-length as a present to the Duke of Kent and Dr. Meade.' [1] Vertue also notes in that year: 'Signr. Amiconi finished a picture whole length of the Queen for Doctor Meade. the Queen sat to him for the face.' [2] The other version, still at Wrest Park, [3] has no cornucopia and there is masonry instead of the curtain background. A three-quarter length of the same design belongs to the University of Durham. [4] Vertue refers earlier in 1735, to another type, 'Signor Amiconi a large picture of the Queen and the Duke standing by her. several attributes of honour. and sciences. the whole freely and lively - but neither like nor correct - but of fine glowing colours', [5] a criticism that could equally be made in respect of NPG 4332. The head is surely flattering, making the Queen look like a young woman rather than the mother of seven children.

Footnotesback to top

1) 'Declared Accounts of the Treasurer of the Chamber 1735', PRO Audit Office Index 415, vol.169, cited J. Woodward, 'Amigoni as Portrait Painter in England', Burlington Magazine, XCIX, 1957, p 22.
2) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, III, p 76.
3) Exhibited 'Italian Art and Britain', RA, 1960 (174).
4) Exhibited 'Kings & Queens of England', Liverpool, 1953 (32) prior to the discovery of NPG 4332, Woodward tentatively suggesting it as the Mead version, cut down.
5) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, III, p 75.

Physical descriptionback to top

Pale blue eyes, double chin, grey hair dressed with pearls; gold mantle lined with ermine, open, over a pale mauve dress edged with gold lace, white half sleeves with lace ruffles; a green curtain falls diagonally behind her throne, two putti in flight, top left, carry her crown and a laurel wreath; two more, bottom left, hold a cornucopia with the heads of her seven children.

Conservationback to top

Losses in the face and chest; fading in the dress; rubbed; discoloured varnish removed; cleaned, retouched and relined 1968.

Provenanceback to top

Bought, 1963, at Paskell and Cann's sale, Colchester, 22 October, lot 288; presented, 1736, to the Queen's physician Mead, and descended through his daughter who married Sir Edward Wilmot, Bart; in the Wilmot family until at least the 'Art Treasures Exhibition', Manchester, 1857 (362) and later with A. F. Jarmin of Bury St Edmunds.

Reproductionsback to top

Engraved by Vertue, 1736, [1] three-quarter length, the Queen's face looking much younger, with a medallion of the three Graces, bottom left, and only one putto included; the portrait engraved after Amigoni by A. van Haecken, 1736, does not appear to be related to the NPG type.

1) For P. F. Le Courayer, Histoire du Concile de Trente, London, 1736: information from Miss F. A. Yates.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Kerslake, Early Georgian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1977, 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.

View all known portraits for Caroline Wilhelmina of Brandenburg-Ansbach