From the late 19th to the early 20th centuries, portraits and landscape paintings were bought, borrowed, commissioned or received for display in government buildings. It was felt that images of British monarchs and famous figures brought a sense of stature to entrance halls and state rooms.
A pair of portraits of King George III and Queen Charlotte, (after the 1761 originals by Allan Ramsay) was donated by Lord Duveen in 1939 to the newly-built British Embassy in Washington D.C. The ambassador, Lord Lothian enjoyed referring mischievously to the King’s portrait as that of the ‘Founder of the American Republic’. Guests wondered why George Washington looked so different in appearance.
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