The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
George IV
  • Thomas Lawrence (1769 - 1830)
  • George IV
  • England
  • 1822
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 270.5 x 179 cm
    Object size: 326 x 236 x 16 cm
  • Inscription: 'George R.'
  • P559
  • Great Gallery
Commentary
History
Further Reading
  • George IV (1762-1830) was an important figure in the history of the Wallace Collection. An avid art collector, before he became king in 1820 he was an intimate friend of the 2nd Marchioness of Hertford and on good terms with her son, the future 3rd Marquess, who advised him on his purchases and on occasions acted as his saleroom agent. Lawrence, the foremost portraitist of his time and President of the Royal Academy (1820-30), painted several portraits of the King, though he regarded this as his most successful. A remarkably informal image, it epitomises the elegance and refinement for which George was renowned. It was given by the King to his mistress Lady Conyngham. The portrait was engraved five times by 1841, and was mentioned by Thackeray in 'Vanity Fair' and by Dickens in 'Bleak House'. Its purchase by Sir Richard Wallace was characteristic of his sensitivity to the history of the Collection.