King George II
- Extended catalogue entry
Early Georgian Portraits Catalogue
King George II
studio of Charles Jervas
86 1/2 in. x 50 1/2 in. (2197 mm x 1283 mm)
This portraitback to top
A version of the portrait in the Guildhall Art Gallery commissioned by the corporation in 1727 and noted by Vertue: 'Aug. 1728. The King sat to Mr Jervaise for a picture for the Guildhall'.  The type is the coronation portrait intended presumably as the state portrait for the new reign. Soon after the accession Jervas also drew the King and his consort for the (coronation?) medals by John Croker, and Vertue further records that in 1728 the artist was 'imployd. by the Queen to paint the Picture of Prince William. in which proving sucesfull. the Queen sat to him & the King'.  The Guildhall commission had been primarily at the instigation of Alderman Barber, and by 1732 Vertue was to note ‘Mr Jervase his Majestys painter has had no success in painting their Majesties pictures & from thence he lost much favour & Interest at Court'. For this reason, it may be supposed, the pair is not in the Royal collection. Other versions of the Guildhall portrait include one at Shire Hall, Hertford, and a copy at Gripsholm, 1950. An equestrian portrait (see All Known Portraits) is also mentioned, the face by Jervas said to be unlike and the horse 'by Wotton'.  This must be the portrait at Blickling.
Footnotesback to top
1) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, III, p 35; Corporation of London catalogue of pictures, 1898 (32); exhibited 'Kings and Queens, AD 653-1953', RA, 1953 (226).
2) G. Vertue, Vertue Note Books (edited by The Earl of Ilchester), Walpole Society, III, pp 17, 33.
3) Ibid, pp 59, 62, 99.
Physical descriptionback to top
Blue eyes, fresh complexion, white wig; Garter collar over blue coronation robes, grey patterned suit and breeches; on his left, the crown and orb on a table covered in red cloth; stone floor, the north transept of Westminster Abbey seen through a window, right.
Conservationback to top
An old damage in the bottom of the robe has been patch-lined; cleaned and revarnished 1957.
Provenanceback to top
Bought, 1873, with Caroline, NPG 369, as by Shackleton from Graves & Co, the purchaser, at Christie's, 10 May 1873, lots 175 and 174, the latter as by Kneller, from the Clarendon Hotel, Old Bond Street.
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 King George II
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