King George I (1660-1727) Reigned 1714-27: Emblematic Trade Sign of Thomas Wylde, Worcester
About the work
This painting is dominated by a portrait of George I, set within an oval frame placed at the centre of the composition. The portrait of the sovereign is based on an 1714 engraving by Bernard Picart, showing him in armour, with the blue sash of the knight of the garter. To the left is a view of Worcester Cathedral, symbolically representing the Church, while to the right is a view of three ships, representing Trade. By this time, Worcester had a long tradition of clothing manufacture. Ships transported wool into the city along the River Severn and exported the cloth.
Essentially a campaign poster for Thomas Wylde when he stood as a candidate to represent the city of Worcester at the 1718 by-election, this painting, and the text beneath, shows that the candidate relied on the three elements for his support: Church, Monarch and Trade. Wylde had already served as MP for Worcester from 1701 and returned in 1718, retaining the seat until 1727.
He came from a prominent family of clothiers and lawyers who acquired The Commandery in Worcester, which stayed in the family from 1540 until 1785. Wylde was later appointed a Commissioner of Excise in Dublin and moved to the city with his wife, Mary. His son, Robert, was one of the directors of the South Sea Company.
Although unknown, the artist is thought to have also painted a similar work for Thomas Vernon (1654–1721), who stood as Whig MP for Worcestershire in 1715 in the first parliament of George I’s reign. That painting is now on display at Hanbury Hall, Worcestershire (National Trust).
About the artist
British 18th century unknown
- King George I (1660-1727) Reigned 1714-27: Emblematic Trade Sign of Thomas Wylde, Worcester
- c. 1715
- Oil on canvas
- height: 102.00 cm, width: 127.50 cm
- Purchased from Appleby Bros, February 1969
- [Beneath image. First column:] For the / Church of En- / -gland as by Law / Established, [Second column:] For his most Excellent Majesty / King GEORGE. / THOMAS WYLDE. [Third column:] For Trade and / the Good of our / own Country,
- GAC number