Skip to main content

Sir Thomas Lawrence, Queen Charlotte

Key facts
Full title Queen Charlotte
Artist Sir Thomas Lawrence
Artist dates 1769 - 1830
Date made 1789
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 239.5 × 147 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1927
Inventory number NG4257
Location Central Hall
Collection Main Collection
Queen Charlotte
Sir Thomas Lawrence

Thomas Lawrence was only 20 when he painted this, one of the most brilliant of all royal portraits. Yet it failed to please either King George or Queen Charlotte and did not enter the Royal Collection. It remained on Lawrence’s hands and was in his studio sale after his death.

Lawrence painted Queen Charlotte in Windsor Castle – the Chapel of Eton College can be seen in the distance. The Queen was troubled by her husband’s protracted mental illness and was in no mood to sit for the young painter. The sitting on 28 September was probably the only one she gave him. Lawrence found it hard to animate her expression, and had to repaint her features several times.

Lawrence has given the pearl bracelets, decorated with the King’s portrait and his monogram, a significant role in the portrait, as if demonstrating the Queen’s unwavering loyalty to her husband amid his difficulties.

Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.

License this image

License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low-resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.

As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.

Download low-resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo