Windsor Castle: The King’s Dressing Room

Charles Wild (1781-1835)

Windsor Castle: The King’s Dressing Room


Watercolour and bodycolour over pencil

20.2 x 25.3 cm

Probably acquired by George IV

The King’s Dressing Room overlooks the North Terrace, between the King’s Bedchamber (to the east) and the King’s Closet (to the west). The room benefited from a considerable programme of refurbishment from the late 1790s. John Yenn’s design for four large oval giltwood mirrors - two for the Dressing Room and two for the Closet, shown by Pyne on the window wall in both cases - is in the Royal Collection. Three of these mirrors have also survived. According to instructions on Yenn’s drawing, which is undated, the frames were to be carved by Richard Lawrence, and the mirror plates were to be supplied by Robert Campbell. The furniture includes a fine French bureau-plat, probably dating from the 1740s. The table - which may have been acquired by George III - was used by Queen Victoria when she signed the Royal Assent to the Australian Commonwealth Bill in July 1900 and was subsequently sent by her, as a permanent memento, to Australia; it is now in Parliament House, Canberra.

Among the paintings are (over the chimneypiece) Guido Reni’s Cleopatra, acquired by Frederick, Prince of Wales, Carracci’s ‘Il Silenzio’ and a Virgin and Child attributed to Guido Reni, both acquired by George III himself. All these had been transferred to Windsor from Buckingham House shortly before Pyne’s views.

Curiously, Wild has recorded Verrio’s ceiling painting of Jupiter and Danae in situ. However, between 1807 and 1811 Matthew Cotes Wyatt (James Wyatt’s son) had replaced this with a scene from the story of St George - one of a series of paintings executed at that time in the King’s Closet, King’s Dressing Room and Queen’s Dressing Room.

RL 22105

Catalogue entry adapted from George III & Queen Charlotte: Patronage, Collecting and Court Taste, London, 2004