• Portrait of George III

    Artist:
    Dance, Nathaniel. 1735-1811
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    241x148,5 cm

Dance, Nathaniel. 1735-1811

Portrait of George III

Great Britain, 1773-1774

The bulk of the collection of English art in the Hermitage can be attributed to Catherine II and her desire to gain possession of the most famous and significant masterpieces of painting and sculpture. In 1773 the idea came to the Empress to create a portrait gallery of European monarchs at her Chesme Palace on the road between the capital and her suburban summer residence of Tsarskoye Selo. Through Count Musin-Pushkin, the Russian ambassador in London, Lord Cathcart, a close confidant of George III, learnt of the Empress’s intention. Despite a recommendation to choose Joshua Reynolds to paint his portrait, the King selected Nathaniel Dance, a less famous, but meticulous artist. He produced a depiction of George III in accordance with all the rules of the formal portrait genre painted in a dry, austere manner. For the gallery several large formal depictions were created – of the King and Queen, the Prince of Wales and other members of the royal family. Besides Dance, Benjamin West was engaged for this work. It is possible to say that by the late 18th century Van Dyck’s influence had been almost completely overcome and the court artists of the British crown were quite definitely displaying a style of their own.

Title:

Portrait of George III

Place:

Date:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

241x148,5 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1931; handed over from the English Palace at Peterhof

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-4469

Category:

Collection: