Don’t you love it when you find a large version of a wonderful historical artwork that you’ve only ever seen in very small versions?
Like this fantastic Zoffany portrait of Queen Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz:
It’s full of the most glorious details.
There are her sons, with George IV in Roman inspired armour:
Prinny looks a wee bit petulant, possibly because the dog clearly loves mummy more than him! Â (and honestly, who wouldn’t be jealous over that dog’s look of adoration? Â I’m not even a dog person and I want to hug it!)
The whole outfit is fantastic, but oh, his boots! Â Aren’t they just the most adorable things ever?
If he isn’t mad about the dog, perhaps Prinny is glaring at his little brother, wishing he were wearing Prince Frederick’s Orientalist attire. Â It is rather fabulous isn’t it? Â And the turban is doing a cunning job of doubling as a pudding cap – the padded caps worn by small children in the 18th century to keep them from injury when they toppled over.
It’s not quite as exciting/unusual as royal children’s fancy dress, but the portrait also provides lovely details of Charlotte’s dress: the glimpse of her shoe, the punched hem of her skirt ruffle, the triple layers of lace engageants, and finely roll-pleated trim.
Charlotte is sitting by her dressing table, giving us a wonderful look at a mid-18th century dressing table. Â We can see each pot and pouf. Â The dressing table is draped in a literal fortune in handmade lace, emphasising Charlotte’s wealth and status. Â Even more fabulously, the mirror reflects Charlotte’s profile, giving us a simultaneous front and side view of her hair – and her fantastically over-the-top earrings.
There are more wonderful details hidden in the painting. Glimpses of the other artwork in the room, showing scenes from Greek & Roman mythology. Â And two Chinese figures, which frame Charlotte, reinforcing the themes of worldly knowledge and wealth.
My absolute favourite detail is this one though:
A tiny glimpse of another portrait in the hall off the main room. Â I wonder who it is?