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Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick

Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick, by James Lonsdale, circa 1820 -NPG 498 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Regency Portraits Catalogue

Caroline Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick

by James Lonsdale
circa 1820
30 in. x 25 1/4 in. (762 mm x 641 mm)
NPG 498

This portraitback to top

The Queen returned from abroad in June 1820 and a portrait was immediately commissioned from Lonsdale by the Lord Mayor of London. In Meyer's stipple engraving of the portrait, presented by Caroline herself to the City of London on 1 November 1820, Lonsdale describes himself as 'Principal Painter in Ordinary to the Queen', a post he seems to have held since the death of Opie in 1807 (Thieme-Becker). The NPG portrait appears to be of about the same date as the City portrait though more informal and a great deal more revealing. Lonsdale's portraits are serious enough but Farington records a conversation with Constable who said 'Lonsdale had been employed at Brandenburgh House to paint a portrait of the Queen, and gave an instance of her levity. Addresses were read to her and Alderman Wood read her Answers, while she standing behind him made ridiculous faces at Lonsdale & others' (Diary, 8 November 1820).

Physical descriptionback to top

Half-length seated, her arms on a book, right hand to head; brown hair in ringlets, hazel eyes, highly rouged complexion; veil over head, blue-grey dress, pearl necklace, gold band, ruby ring; book bound in red on green cushion, gilt chair upholstered in red; trees in left background, greenish-brown curtain with red cord and tassel right; blue cloudy sky behind her head.

Provenanceback to top

The artist; his son Judge J. J. Lonsdale who offered it to the NPG in 1873 together with portraits of Brougham (NPG 361), Nollekens (NPG 360) and Congreve (NPG 982f); Brougham and Nollekens were accepted, Queen Caroline and Congreve declined but Caroline appears to have been accepted in 1878.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Walker, Regency Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, 1985, 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 Amelia Elizabeth of Brunswick

View all known portraits for James Lonsdale



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