The Gallery holds the most extensive collection of portraits in the world. Search over 215,000 works, 150,000 of which are illustrated from the 16th Century to the present day.

Advanced Collection search

King George III

King George III, by Peter Turnerelli, 1809 -NPG 3903 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Mid-Georgian Portraits Catalogue

King George III

by Peter Turnerelli
16 3/4 in. (425 mm) high
NPG 3903

Inscriptionback to top

Incised at back of base: P. Turnerelli/Fecit 1809.

This portraitback to top

An example of the Jubilee bust, marking the fiftieth anniversary of the King’s accession. Turnerelli, sculptor in ordinary to the Royal Family since 1801, received sittings from the King in 1809 and exhibited the original bust at the RA 1810 (883); Benjamin West had recommended contemporary dress ‘as it appeared to him an erroneous idea, to dress every bust in the habit of a Roman senator’. [1] According to the European Magazine it was ‘universally admired’ and Turnerelli ‘had nearly eighty copies to execute in marble, for the nobility and several of the principal corporate bodies of the empire, seven of which were expressly ordered by the Royal Family’. [2] A small model ‘of the National Bust’ was shown at the RA 1812 (908) and dated examples include those at Lancaster House (1810; GAC 2673), Frogmore and the City Art Centre, Edinburgh (1812), Penicuik (1813), Apsley House (1814), and the Huntington Library, San Marino, Calif. (1815); an undated bust is in the Victoria and Albert Museum (A.62.1965).

Footnotesback to top

1) European Mag., LXXIX, 1821, I, p 393; the article illus. with an engraving of Turnerelli with the Jubilee bust.
2) Ibid., p 389.

Provenanceback to top

Purchased from Herman Hornek, London, 1954.

This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: John Ingamells, National Portrait Gallery: Mid-Georgian Portraits 1760-1790, National Portrait Gallery, 2004, 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 III


Become a Member

Enjoy access to special events, discounts on the Gallery online shop, supporters’ updates and much more

Join today

Get social

Bringing people together by sharing the portraits and stories of the men and women who have shaped our nation.

Facebook Instagram Twitter


Sign up to receive information on exhibitions, collections and activities of the National Portrait Gallery, including special offers, shop products, and exclusive competitions.

Sign up