King George V (1865-1936) Reigned 1910-36

Sir Samuel Luke (after) Fildes

Oil on canvas

1912-1935
  • About the work
    Location
    Country: Sweden
    City: Stockholm
    Place: British Embassy

    Upon the death of his father, George, Prince of Wales became King George V and Fildes was invited to paint a state portrait of the new king in 1912. The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy that year and, as soon as the Academy exhibition closed, was dispatched to an artist’s studio to be copied. The event was reported in the ‘Litchfield Mercury’ on 19 July:

    ‘…replicas are to be prepared of the State portrait of his present Majesty, which was painted by [Luke Fildes] this year, and the work will proceed immediately after the close of the Royal Academy exhibition three weeks hence. These portraits are destined for some of the Courts of Europe, and are also to be sent to certain diplomatic and Government buildings abroad. Replicas likewise are to be made of the Llewellyn portrait of the Queen, which will rank as a companion picture, and be similarly framed. The [original] Coronation picture, it is understood, will be retained at Buckingham Palace…’

  • About the artist
    Sir Samuel Luke Fildes, commonly known as Luke Fildes, wasas an illustrator before turning to portrait painting. He was commissioned by the novelist Charles Dickens to illustrate his last novel ‘The Mystery of Edwin Drood’, published in 1870. In 1874 Fildes’ large painting of ‘Applicants for Admission to a Casual Ward’, showing the destitute queuing in hope of a night of shelter, brought him overnight fame, when it was exhibited at the Royal Academy, accompanied by a quote from Dickens. Fildes continued to paint social realist subjects, but it was as a portrait painter that he found fame and fortune. His painting of the Princess of Wales (later Queen Alexandra) of 1894 led to a series of royal commissions.
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  • Details
    Title
    King George V (1865-1936) Reigned 1910-36
    Date
    1912-1935
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 186.00 cm, width: 121.00 cm
    GAC number
    15554