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Her Royal Highness Augusta, Hereditary Princess of Brunswick and Luneburg

  • Object:

    Print

  • Place of origin:

    London (published)

  • Date:

    1764-ca.1766 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Purcell, Richard (engraver)
    Reynolds, Joshua (Sir), born 1723 - died 1792 (artist)
    Robert Sayer (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Mezzotint on paper

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Mrs E.B. Westwood

  • Museum number:

    E.494-1959

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level D, case PP, shelf 30

Technique
Mezzotint is an engraving technique where the surface of a metal plate is roughened and indented by a ‘rocker’, a tool with metal teeth. The rocker makes lots of dotted indentations in the surface of the plate which hold ink. To allow a gradation of tone, certain areas of the plate are burnished – the surface is smoothed - so that their ink-holding capacity is reduced. Mezzotint allows subtle variations of tone to be achieved.

People
Charlotte Augusta, Princess of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttell (1737-1813) was a daughter of Frederick Lewis, Prince of Wales, and sister of George III. In 1764 she married Charles William Ferdinand, Duke of Brunswick at St. James’s Palace. During the Napoleonic Wars her husband died from wounds received in battle, and the princess returned to Britain in 1807, granted protection by George III.

Philip Corbutt was the alias of Richard Purcell (fl. 1746-1766), an Irish engraver who settled in London during the 1750s.

Subject
This engraving was produced at some point during the 1760s, certainly after 1764 when the princess married the Duke of Brunswick, and it is possible that this print was made to commemorate the match. The princess looks to the right, with a tiara in her hair and wears an ermine lined robe; the clothing is generalised, a silk gown with the robe worn over the shoulders. Reynolds believed the particularities of contemporary dress should be avoided in portraits to give them a timeless quality and elevate the status of portraiture.

Physical description

Portrait, half-length, facing half right and wearing a tiara and an ermine-trimmed robe.

Place of Origin

London (published)

Date

1764-ca.1766 (published)

Artist/maker

Purcell, Richard (engraver)
Reynolds, Joshua (Sir), born 1723 - died 1792 (artist)
Robert Sayer (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

Mezzotint on paper

Marks and inscriptions

'J. Reynolds pinxt. Philip Corbutt fecit. / Her Royal Highness Augusta, Hereditary Princess of Brunswick & Lunenburg. / London, Printed for Robt. Sayer, Map & Printseller near Serjeants Inn Fleet Street.'
Lettered

Dimensions

Height: 38.4 cm, Width: 27.4 cm

Object history note

This engraving was produced at some point during the 1760s, certainly after 1764 when the princess married the Duke of Brunswick, and it is possible that this print was made to commemorate the match.

Descriptive line

Print, half-length portrait of princess Augusta Charlotte wearing an ermine-trimmed robe. Mezzotint by Richard Purcell (alias Philip Corbutt) after Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1764-ca.1766.

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

Victoria and Albert Museum Department of Prints and Drawings and Department of Paintings, Accessions 1959 . London: HMSO, 1964.

Production Note

The original portrait was painted in 1763. Philip Corbutt was an alias of the engraver Richard Purcell (died ca.1766).

Materials

Paper

Techniques

Mezzotint

Subjects depicted

Tiaras; Ermine (fur); Robe; Princess

Categories

Royalty; Prints; Portraits

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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