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Queen Charlotte; Princess Sophia Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, 1744 - 1818. Queen of George III (About 1763)

About this artwork

Charlotte married George, Prince of Wales, in September 1761. A fortnight later they were crowned at Westminster Abbey and their coronation portraits commissioned from Ramsay, who had recently succeeded John Shackleton as Principle Painter in Ordinary. Charlotte is seen in a similar setting to her husband, with classical columns and rich drapery. In coronation robes of gold and ermine to match George, she gestures towards the crown. This version is by Ramsay’s studio – the replication of state portraits for heads of state, colonial governors, ambassadors etc, was a common occurrence during this time. There are subtle differences between the copies. Ramsay’s earliest version shows Charlotte wearing a pearl necklace, whereas later portraits, such as this, feature a gem encrusted necklace.

Allan Ramsay

Allan Ramsay

Ramsay, named after his father who was a poet, was internationally renowned for his outstanding portraits. He attended the new Academy of St Luke in Edinburgh and then continued his artistic education in Italy. He visited Rome, studying at the French Academy and Naples. British residents commissioned many portraits from him and as soon as he returned to London he established a successful studio. He also returned to Edinburgh regularly. King George III appointed him King's painter. As a gifted conversationalist and writer of essays, Ramsay pursued his scholarly interests when injury to his right arm in 1773 cut short his painting career.