Sir David Wilkie

Queen Adelaide, 1792 - 1849. Princess Adelaide Louisa Theresa Caroline Amelia of Saxe-Meiningen. Queen of William IV (About 1833)

About this artwork

Princess Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen was born in Germany. At the age of twenty-five she was married to the fifty-two year old William, Duke of Clarence. The duke was the third son of King George III and next in line to the British throne after his brother, George IV, who had no heir. The duke had fathered ten illegitimate children by an Irish actress, and his marriage to Princess Adelaide was intended to produce legitimate offspring. Though their marriage was happy, the couple’s two daughters died in infancy. After her husband’s accession to the throne as King William IV in 1830, Queen Adelaide’s supposed interference in politics made her unpopular with the British public. However, after her husband’s death, Adelaide’s reputation was restored by her generous donations to charity.

  • title: Queen Adelaide, 1792 - 1849. Princess Adelaide Louisa Theresa Caroline Amelia of Saxe-Meiningen. Queen of William IV
  • accession number: PG 956
  • artist: Sir David WilkieScottish (1785 - 1841)
  • depicted: Queen Adelaide
  • gallery: In Storage
  • object type: Painting
  • subject: Animals Royalty
  • materials: Oil on canvas
  • date created: About 1833
  • measurements: 76.20 x 63.50 cm (framed: 89.50 x 77.00 x 6.90 cm)
  • credit line: Purchased 1923
  • photographer: Antonia Reeve

Sir David Wilkie

Sir David Wilkie

Wilkie achieved international recognition for his highly original paintings of events and episodes from contemporary life. His skills as a narrator were evident in the facial expressions and poses of his characters, and in the informative detail he included. He was born in Fife, the son of a rural minister and began his formal artistic training at the Trustees' Academy in Edinburgh when he was fifteen. He then moved to London in 1805 and became a full member of the Royal Academy in 1811. He was appointed Painter to the King in 1830 and knighted in 1836.