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This bust, designed by the painter and sculptor Matthew Cotes Wyatt, shows King George III in the classical tradition, bare-headed and clad in a toga, deliberately evoking images of ancient Roman emperors. It was commissioned for the Board Room of the Treasury, where it was on display for many years.
Wyatt had been employed in various projects at Windsor Castle, including the painting of a new ceiling for the King’s remodelled dressing room, within the state apartments, executed between 1807 and 1811. In 1832 Wyatt was commissioned to design a bronze equestrian statue of George III, which now stands in Pall Mall and shows the monarch in contemporary dress and with a ponytail.
Painter and sculptor Matthew Cotes Wyatt was the son of the architect James Wyatt. He enrolled at the Royal Academy Schools in 1800. Wyatt was never elected a member of the Academy, despite being proposed for associate membership in 1812. This may have influenced his decision to eventually abandon painting for sculpture. Wyatt’s reputation was established by his marble cenotaph to the memory of Princess Charlotte, at St George’s Chapel, Windsor. However, he is best-known for an equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, designed for the top of Decimus Burton’s arch at Hyde Park Corner. Although it was attacked by the press, the statue remained in situ until after the death of the Duke, when it was moved to Aldershot Military Camp, Surrey.
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