Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (1796-1817)

  • About the work

    In this portrait after an original by George Dawe, Princess Charlotte adopts a classically inspired, elegant yet melancholic pose while sitting on a chaise longue. Aged 21, she is depicted in the year of her death (1817) following the birth of a stillborn son. She wears a deep blue Russian-style dress which was presented to the Museum of London by George V in 1927. At the time the portrait was made, Princess Charlotte had already been married to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg who became king of the Belgians in 1831. Charlotte’s wedding rings are seen here on her right hand. She also wears the star of the Order of St Catherine which she received from Maria Feodorovna, wife of tsar Paul I of Russia, for the gratitude she showed to their son Nicholas during his visit to London. The portfolio under her arm refers to her accomplishments as an amateur etcher.

    The original, full-length portrait is in the Belgian Royal Collection. Other versions of the portrait exist in The Royal Collection and the National Portrait Gallery. 


  • About the artist
    George Dawe was born in London; the son of the mezzotint engraver Philip Dawe. After training under his father, he studied painting at the Royal Academy Schools. In 1814 he was elected a full Academician. He also exhibited at the British Institution. He was employed as a court painter and travelled on the continent as one of the entourage of Edward, Duke of Kent, visiting Paris, Cambrai (northern France), Brussels and Aix-la-Chapelle (Germany). Alexander I of Russia invited him to relocate to Russia, where he painted some 400 portraits of chiefs of the Russian army. However, he did not live to enjoy his success, dying unmarried at 48, just six weeks after his return to England in 1829. He was interred, with honours, at St Paul’s Cathedral.
  • Explore
    People
    Charlotte Augusta, Princess of Wales
    Places
    Materials & Techniques
    canvas, oil, oil painting
  • Details
    Title
    Princess Charlotte Augusta of Wales (1796-1817)
    Date
    c.1817
    Medium
    Oil on canvas
    Dimensions
    height: 139.00 cm, width: 109.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Lincoln Fine Art, June 1983
    GAC number
    16182