Antique 18th Century Reverse Print On Glass George Prince of Wales and Prince Frederick Circa 1780
This scarce and sought after reverse painted mezzotint engraving under glass features a young Prince George 1762 -1830 (the future King George IV) and Prince Frederick 1763 - 1827 (Duke of York and Albany), standing three quarter length with a mastiff. These were the two eldest sons of King George III. We see Prince George stood to the left with his arm around his younger brother to the right and the Royal family dog in the foreground. Interestingly the triangular composition with Prince George holding a Lily (symbol of purity, innocence and incorruption) is reminiscent of the Christian symbolism that was conveyed throughout religious art over the previous centuries.
The mezzotint is after the highly regarded Scottish portrait artist Katherine Read (b 1723 – d 1778). She was born in Dundee, Scotland and trained as an artist in Edinburgh, France and Italy. She was a very talented and successful artist; she mainly produced portraits of aristocratic children and also exhibited at the Royal Academy. This portrait was produced circa 1765.
The mezzotint was engraved by the Irish engraver James Watson (b 1740 – d 1790). He was the leading mezzotint engraver at the time and exhibited at the Society of Artists from 1762 – 1775. This rare example does not have any publishing details. The title at the bottom of the print reads:
“His Royal Highnefs George Prince of Wales and Prince Frederick.”
For a larger example of this print, with slightly different title and publishing details please see RCIN 604699 in the Royal Collection Trust. This is a very rare print due to its sought after SMALL size. The print is housed under lovely old bubbled wavy glass in a wonderful birds eye maple veneered frame with a gilt slip. We particular like the slight fold in the glass, a sign of early production.
Measuring: Print 4 5/8” (11.5 cm) by 5 5/8” (14.5 cm). Frame measuring 6.75” (17 cm) by 7 7/8” (20 cm). Frame depth 7/8” (2.5 cm).
Condition: The print is in very good condition, there is a minor tear to the bottom left corner. There is a tiny scratch to the top left corner of the glass. The frame is in very good condition with a wonderful natural patina.
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