Benjamin West

Portrait of George, Prince of Wales, and Prince Frederick, later Duke of York

Portrait of George, Prince of Wales, and Prince Frederick, later Duke of York
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: Benjamin West
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 240.5x166 cm
Origin: Britain, 1778

West was history painter to His Majesty King George III of England, who commissioned him in 1778 to paint a double portrait of the royal sons, George, later George IV, and Frederick, later Duke of York. Like the paired portraits of George III and his wife Sophia-Charlotte , this was intended as a gift for Catherine the Great. The paintings were hung in Catherine's Chesme Palace, built in the style of a Gothic castle, which housed a gallery of all the reigning crowned heads of Europe and members of their families. Catherine had removed her husband, Peter III, from the throne in a coup d'etat in 1762, and was keen to use all the available resources - including art - to assert her right to be regarded as legitimate ruler of Russia and a full member of this royal brotherhood. She often visited the Chesme Palace with foreign diplomats, as it was conveniently located on the road between St Petersburg and her favourite summer residence at Tsarskoe Selo.

Source of entry: English Palace, Peterhof, 1931

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