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Queen Charlotte
Sir Thomas Lawrence
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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.

Key facts
Artist Sir Thomas Lawrence
Artist dates 1769 - 1830
Full title Queen Charlotte
Date made 1789
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 239.5 x 147 cm
Acquisition credit Bought, 1927
Inventory number NG4257
Location in Gallery Room 36
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