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Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015

George III (1738-1820)


Creator: Jeremiah Meyer (1735-89) (artist)
Creation Date: 
Materials and techniques: 
Watercolour on ivory
8.2 x 7.0 cm (sight)
RW 252
Cust 1910 5/1
RL 1870 5.C.1
RL 1870 5.C.1
XQG 2004 GIII 24
XQG 1974 GIII 129
XQG 1970 GIII 31
XQG 1983 K&Q 69
Probably commissioned by George III; Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester (d.1857); by whom bequethed to Queen Victoria

George III is depicted wearing military uniform, although the coat, which should be a richer scarlet, has faded to a pale pink. The King is shown almost full face, which allows the artist to convey more of George’s character and also to demonstrate his own technical skills in his modelling of the face and depiction of the wig.

Jeremiah Meyer (1735-89) was born in Germany and his father was portrait painter to the Duke of Württemberg. He came to England about 1749 and studied under the artist Christian Friedrich Zincke. Meyer was commissioned to paint the King’s miniature portrait, set in an oval of diamonds in the pearl bracelet given to Princess Charlotte as an engagement present. He also drew the King’s profile for the new coinage which earned him a gold medal from the Society of Arts in 1761. He was appointed Miniature Painter to the Queen and Enamel Painter to the King in 1764. A founder member of the Royal Academy, he exhibited miniatures, enamels and watercolour drawings from 1769 to 1783. When he died, according to a contemporary, Charlotte Papendiek, Meyer’s widow sent his remaining miniatures, including portraits of the royal family, to the sitters without making a charge. The Queen was so pleased that ‘she liberally rewarded Mrs Meyer for her honourable conduct’.

Catalogue entry adapted from Masterpieces in Little: Portrait Miniatures from the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen (1992) and George III and Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste (2004).

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