Sir Thomas Lawrence

George IV, 1762 - 1830. Reigned as Regent 1811 - 1820, as King 1820 - 1830 (About 1820)

About this artwork

The eldest son of King George III, George acted as Prince Regent between 1811 and 1820 due to his father's insanity. He reigned as King George IV from 1820 to 1830. An extravagant and dissolute man, George IV was also one of the greatest royal collectors and patrons of art and architecture. Thomas Lawrence, who painted this portrait, was knighted by the king in 1815.

Sir Thomas Lawrence

Sir Thomas Lawrence

Lawrence was a child prodigy, supporting his family from boyhood by selling pastel portraits to visitors to Bath. By 1786 he had moved to London where he briefly attended the Royal Academy Schools. He rapidly established himself as a brilliant and successful portrait painter, exhibiting an astonishingly ambitious full-length of Queen Charlotte in 1790 (now at the National Gallery, London). He was knighted in 1815 and became President of the Royal Academy in 1820. His sitters - whether society beauties, theatrical stars or military commanders - embody the romantic, slightly raffish, glamour associated with the Regency period.