Menu
Menu
Zoomable Image of Portrait miniature of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767-1820) wearing Field Marshal’s uniform, with scarlet coat, gold lace and aiguillette, the blue sash and breast-star of the Order of the Garter, the jewel and breast-stars of the Order of Bath, St Patrick and the Royal Guelphic, c.1818

Portrait miniature of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767-1820) wearing Field Marshal’s uniform, with scarlet coat, gold lace and aiguillette, the blue sash and breast-star of the Order of the Garter, the jewel and breast-stars of the Order of Bath, St Patrick and the Royal Guelphic, c.1818

Johann Georg Paul Fischer (1786-1875)

Portrait miniature of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn (1767-1820) wearing Field Marshal’s uniform, with scarlet coat, gold lace and aiguillette, the blue sash and breast-star of the Order of the Garter, the jewel and breast-stars of the Order of Bath, St Patrick and the Royal Guelphic, c.1818

Johann Georg Paul Fischer (1786-1875)

Purchase Enquiries

Phone +44(0)20 7499 6818

Email art@philipmould.com

Price:

£3,500

Materials:

Watercolour on ivory

Dimensions:

Rectangular, 4 1/4 x 3 1/8 in (105 x 83 mm)

Provenance:

Private Collection, UK

Frame:

Gilt metal frame

Prince Edward was the fourth son of George III and Queen Charlotte and the father of Queen Victoria...

This portrait miniature of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Strathearn is one of several portraits of the Duke painted by Johann Fischer, after an oil painting by William Beechey. Two variants of this portrait-type by Fischer are in the Royal Collection [RCIN 420204 & RCIN 420979] and depict additional orders and medals to Beechey’s original portrait.

The Duke gave several sittings for Beechey’s full-length portrait in 1814 which is now in the Fishmongers’ Company Hall in London. Queen Victoria asked for Beechey’s portrait to be lent so that a copy could be made by Henry Le Jeune for the Royal Collection in c.1845-6 [RCIN 405190]. A half-length variant by Beechey exists in the National Portrait Gallery which was almost certainly painted for Sir Matthew Wood, Lord Mayor of London between 1815 and 1817 and trustee to the Duke’s estate.

Prince Edward was the fourth son of George III and Queen Charlotte and the father of Queen Victoria. From a young age he was taught etching by the British landscape painter Alexander Cozens and had a great enjoyment of music. He was the first prince to be appointed a knight of the Order of St Patrick, which was introduced by George III in 1783.

Edward’s father, George III, deemed it important for his sons to spend time in Germany and consequently Edward was sent to Lüneburg to join the Hanoverian foot guards. He was made brevet colonel in the British army in 1786, before relocating to Hanover, and was created a Knight of the Garter. Between 1788 and 1790 he completed his education in Geneva and took command of the Royal Fusiliers (7th Foot) in April 1789. The following year he returned from his duties without leave and was forcibly sent by his father to Gibraltar, to serve in the garrison as an ordinary officer. Whilst abroad he invited his long-term mistress, Thérèse-Bernardine Mongenet, to join him and entered into a twenty-eight year relationship with her.

In 1791 he was removed from his position and joined his regiment in Quebec. Edward was the first member of the royal family to live in North America for a considerable period of time and was the first prince to visit the United States after independence. He was promoted to major-general on 2nd October 1793 and served in the West Indies campaign to reduce Martinique and Saint Lucia in 1794. Whilst stationed at Halifax in Nova Scotia as lieutenant-general, Prince Edward fell from his horse and was given leave to travel home to Great Britain.

Prince Edward was created duke of Kent and Strathearn on 24th April 1799 and was made commander-in-chief of British forces in North America. He was appointed governor of Gibraltar in 1802 to restore order to an unruly garrison, however, his approach ended in mutiny and Prince Edward was forced to shoot three of the ringleaders and had a fourth brutally flogged to death. Returning to England, his career over, he was made keeper and paler of Hampton Court and took residence at Castle Hill Lodge in Ealing.

He married the sister of Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfield, Victoria, a widow with two small children, in 1818. Together the couple lived in Amorbach Castle in Leiningen but once Victoria was heavily pregnant they moved back to Kensington Palace to give birth to their daughter Alexandrina Victoria, the future Queen Victoria. Prince Edward died of pneumonia whilst holidaying in Devon on the 23rd January 1820 and was buried in St George’s Chapel at Windsor.

The artist Johann Fischer must have been particularly appealing to George III and his family, as he was also Hanoverian and arrived in England in 1810. Fischer worked for three generations of the royal family, predominantly as a copyist, as can be seen by the present portrait which is after William Beechey. Initially working as a court painter in Bavaria, Fischer was a pupil and assistant to Heinrich Ramberg. After his arrival in England he worked in London and Cheltenham and exhibited at the Royal Academy and the Society for British Artists from 1817-1852. It is thought that he also may have worked in India as there is a portrait in his oeuvre of a native of Cashmere.[1]

Fischer completed portraits of the Duke’s brothers; the Duke of Cambridge and the Duke of Cumberland, as well as George III, all of which are in the Royal Collection. In the South Kensington Museum exhibition of portrait miniatures in 1865, Fischer lent two portraits of Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and George IV.[2] Two other variants of the present portrait have emerged on the art market in recent years with varying sky backgrounds, sold by Bonhams in 2005 and Christie’s in 2013.[3]



[1] D. Foskett, Miniatures Dictionary and Guide (Woodbridge, 1987), p.540

[2] Catalogue of the Special Exhibition of Portrait Miniatures on Loan at the South Kensington Museum (London, 1865), pp.128 & 281.

[3] Bonhams, London, 27th April 2005, lot 185; Christie’s, London, 26th November 2013, lot 162.

Similar works

  • Prince Albert

    Attributed to Alfred Edward Chalon

    VIEW ARTWORK

  • John Julius Angerstein

    John Inigo Wright

    VIEW ARTWORK

  • Edwin Stacey of the XII Light Dragoons

    William Grimaldi

    VIEW ARTWORK

  • Prince Albert of Schleswig-Holstein

    Reginald Easton

    VIEW ARTWORK

  • Lt William Campbell

    Attributed to Reginald Easton

    VIEW ARTWORK