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Oil painting - Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales
  • Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales
    Constantyn, René Auguste
  • Enlarge image

Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    1716 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Constantyn, René Auguste (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, Bt

  • Museum number:

    627-1901

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

A portrait of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and son of Prince George (later George II), at the age of 9. He rests the baton in his right hand upon a high table beside his plumed helmet and wears an armoured breastplate over an embroidered longcoat, a lace cravat with matching sleeves, and a velvet cape lined in ermine is thrown over his right shoulder. A red velvet curatain behind him is drawn back to reveal a window and landscape beyond. Constantyn also painted a portrait of George II as Prince of Wales in the following year (now Princeton University's Princeton Portraits collection).

Physical description

A portrait of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and son of Prince George (later George II), at the age of 9. He holds a baton in his right hand, resting it upon a high table beside his plumed helmet and wears an armoured breastplate over an embroidered longcoat, a lace cravat with matching sleeves, and a velvet cape lined in ermine is thrown over his right shoulder. A red velvet curtain behind him is drawn back to reveal a window and landscape beyond.

Place of Origin

Germany (probably, painted)

Date

1716 (painted)

Artist/maker

Constantyn, René Auguste (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

R A Constantin Scutifer / Pinxit 1716
'scutifer' = 'shield-bearer'
signed and dated on the parapet on the right

Dimensions

Height: 75.5 cm approx., Width: 68 cm approx., Height: 978 mm Frame, Width: 843 mm Frame, Depth: 52 mm Frame

Object history note

Given by Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence, 1901
Sir Edwin Durning-Lawrence (1837-1914) was born in London, the son of William Lawrence, Alderman. He was educated at University College School, University College London (BA, 1861 and LLB with honours). He married Edith Jane Durning Smith in 1874, the daughter and co-heiress of politician John Benjamin Smith.
During 1867, Durning-Lawrence was called to Middle Temple and also was a member of the Metropolitan Board of Works for a short time, as well as a Lieutenant for the City of London and a Justice of the Peace in Berkshire. He was elected as Liberal Unionist member of Parliament for Truro in 1895; a position he held until 1906. Durning-Lawrence's main interest was literature, especially the Bacon/ Shakespeare controversy; he was the author of Bacon is Shakespeare (1910) and The Shakespeare Myth (1912). In 1901 he gave to the V&A thirteen paintings, museum numbers 620 to 633-1901.

Historical significance: Prince Frederick Louis was born in Hanover and only moved to Great Britain following his father's accession to the throne in 1727. His parents, Prince George (later George II) and Margravine Caroline of Ansbach, were called upon to leave the country when their eldest son was only seven years old, and they did not see him again until he arrived in England in 1728 as a grown man. 627-1901 may therefore have been commissioned by his parents who at that time hadn't seen their son in two years. Tellingly, Constantyn painted a portrait of George II as Prince of Wales in the following year (now Princeton University's Princeton
Portraits collection) which further links the artist to the Hanoverian court. It must have been within this context that Constantyn became familiar with the works of William Hogarth (who also worked for George II) and began imitating the English artist's works. Constantyn's Group portrait of children (Sold, Christie's London 7 December 2007) for example borrows from Hogarth's A chidren's tea party and his A house of cards (both now in the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff).

Historical context note

While little is known of Constantyn, we do know he studied with Theodore van der Schuur in The Hague where he became a member of the painters' guild in 1712. He subsequently worked in Germany and in England, where he painted portraits of, among others, George II as Prince of Wales (dated 1717, formerly Bateman Collection, Shobdon Court, now Princeton University's Princeton Portraits collection.) and of Sir James and Lady Bateman (dated 1716 and 1717 respectively; formerly at Shobdon Court). It seems reasonable to assume that 627-1901 was executed in Germany as Prince Frederick Louis was born in Hanover and only moved to Great Britain following his father's accession to the throne in 1727. His parents, Prince George (later George II) and Margravine Caroline of Ansbach, were called upon to leave the country when their eldest son was only seven years old, and they did not see him again until he arrived in England in 1728 .

Descriptive line

Oil on canvas, 'Portrait of Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales', René Auguste Constantyn, 1716

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M., Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, I. Before 1800, London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 72, cat. no. 69
Christie's London, 7 December 2007, lot. 231.

Materials

Oil paint; Canvas

Techniques

Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Batons (symbols of office); Helmets; Parade armours; Capes (outerwear); Ermine (fur)

Categories

Paintings

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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