Thursday, February 28, 2013

Painting of the Day: George IV Wearing the Order of the Garter, 1821

Portrait Miniature of King George IV Wearing the Star of the Order of the Garter
Enamel on Copper
Henry Pierce Bone, 1821
After Thomas Lawrence
The Gilbert Collection at
The Victoria & Albert Museum

The work of Nineteenth-Century English master painter Henry Pierce Bone (1779-1855), this enamel miniature on copper dates to 1821. The piece, an oval head and shoulders portrait of King George IV wearing a red uniform with the Star of the Order of the Garter, is set into a gold, enamel and ormolu frame set with pearls.

Such miniature portraits of the Sovereign were made to be given as gifts meant as a show of favor to the recipient. Bone was a favorite of the Royal Family who often employed him as a miniaturist. His ability to copy large state portraits in enamel was unparalleled. In this instance, the miniature is a brilliant replica of a famous portrait of King George IV by Sir Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), considered the most fashionable portraitist of his day.

The reverse is inscribed:

His Majesty
London Oct. 1821
Painted by Hy Bone
RA En. Painter to the King &c.

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