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Christian Friedrich Zincke (1683/4-1767)

Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737) 1727

Enamel | 7.0 x 5.4 cm (sight) (sight) | RCIN 421820

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  • Queen Caroline is seen here wearing state robes and an ermine cloak fastened with a gold Medusa brooch. The Queen’s profile is exactly the same as that on her medal, created for the coronation in 1727, by John Croker. Croker was a distinguished medallist and had worked at the Mint since the reign of William III and engraved coronation medals for Queen Anne, George I and George II. Caroline of Ansbach married George Augustus, the Electoral Prince of Hanover, the future George II, in 1705. She was seen as a protestant heroine in Britain as she had earlier turned down marriage to the Holy Roman Emperor because she could not bring herself to convert to Catholicism. When he met her, George was immediately struck with her ‘good character’ and ‘would not think of anybody else after her’ according to the British envoy at the time. One contemporary commentator noted that her ‘power was unrivalled and unbounded’ and that ‘she directed everything … either at home or abroad’. When she died in 1734 George was distraught. The artist, Christian Frederick Zincke (1683/4-1767), was born in Dresden, the son of a goldsmith. He settled in England in 1706 and studied enamel painting under Charles Boit. He developed a thriving business, at first copying portraits by Sir Peter Lely and Sir Godfrey Kneller, then painting from life. He worked extensively for the royal family and, perhaps because he spoke German, was one of the few artists George II could tolerate. By 1730 he was well established at court and in February 1732, was appointed Cabinet Painter to Frederick, Prince of Wales, George II’s eldest son. His eyesight began to fail, however, and he lamented: ‘I find my Eyes scarce Capable of seeing them fine strokes’. By 1752 he had retired and only painted for his own pleasure. George II commented that Zincke’s portraits were ‘beautiful and like’. Signed and dated on the reverse: Carolina Regina / Magn: Britan: / C F: Zincke. Fecit / 1727 (initials in monogram).
    Provenance

    Probably in the Royal Collection since it was painted; first certainly recorded in 1858

  • Medium and techniques

    Enamel

    Measurements

    7.0 x 5.4 cm (sight) (sight)

    8.8 x 7.2 cm (frame, external)