Nathaniel Dance

Portrait of Sophia-Charlotte

Portrait of Sophia-Charlotte
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Nathaniel Dance
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 240x147 cm
Origin: Britain, 1773

Sophia-Charlotte, wife of King George III of England, is here seen in a typical example of an official portrait intended as a diplomatic gift. Behind it lies the kind of composition created by van Dyck in the 17th century for such works: the Queen stands in her official robes and with all the regalia of power against a background of colonnade and drapery . The painting is very professional but lacking in character. Its greatest interest lies in the story of how the portrait reached Russia. Through the British ambassador in Russia, Lord Cathcart, Nathaniel Dance was commissioned to paint paired portraits of King George and his wife. Both portraits would seem to have then been presented by George III to Catherine the Great, who intended them for the Chesme Palace, her favourite resting place on the road from St Petersburg to her beloved summer residence at Tsarskoe Selo. This palace was built in the style of a Gothic castle and housed a portrait gallery of all the crowned heads of Europe and members of their family. Catherine asserted her right to belong to this gathering, although she came to power in 1762 as the result of a coup d'etat in which her husband, Peter II, was overthrown, and she sought to use every means at her disposal, including art, to emphasise the legitimacy of her rule.

Source of entry: English Palace, Peterhof, 1931

See also

Nathaniel Dance-Holland - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland, 1st Baronet (8 May 1735 – 15 October 1811) was a notable English portrait painter and later a politician. ...
Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland Online
Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland [English Painter, 1735-1811] Guide to pictures of works by Sir Nathaniel Dance-Holland in art museum sites and image archives ...
Biography of Nathaniel Dance
This, however, was to be one of his last works; he stopped painting after inheriting a fortune and an additional name as Nathaniel Dance-Holland in 1776 and ...

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