Artistic Matronage of Queen Charlotte (1744-1818). How a Queen Promoted Both Art and Female Artists in English Society

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Focuses on the artistic patronage of Queen Charlotte of England, whose artistic support has been traditionally overshadowed by that of her husband, King George III. Although Charlotte and her husband jointly patronized artists during the first decade of their marriage, she eventually became a substantial patron in her own right, supporting both the fine and decorative arts.


“[The author] takes as her three key themes cultural agency, homosociality, and matronage while exploring Charlotte’s engagement in the cultural world of Georgian England, demonstrating that this royal woman was an active force in shaping the artistic, scientific, and educational developments in this period.”-Prof. Jennifer Germann, Ithaca College

“[The author] presents a wealth of new information about the artistic activities of Queen Charlotte, arguing that the royal consort was a major figure in the mid to late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century art world.”-Prof. Stacey Sloboda, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

“Painting of the highest order from the likes of Gainsborough and Kauffman receives its due, but we also come to grasp just how important other modes of production were as well. Two centuries on, the book goes a long way in helping us see wax sculpture, embroidery, botanical paintings, and portrait miniatures as deserving the royal attention they then received.”-Prof. Craig Ashley Hanson, Calvin College

Table of Contents

Table of Contents: List of Illustrations

Foreword by Jennifer Germann


Chapter 1: Charlotte’s Patronage in Historical Perspective
Purpose, Methods, Principles
Women and the Institutions of Art
The Construction of Gender: Artists, Media, and Patrons

Chapter 2: Charlotte’s Early Years in Germany and England
Charlotte’s Ancestry and Early Education
Mecklenburg in the Eighteenth Century
A Nuptial Search
Arrival and Marriage in England
Hanoverian Patronage of the Arts
The Art Market and the Eighteenth Century
London Exhibition Venues

Chapter 3: Charlotte as Nurturer of the Arts and the Royal Family
Charlotte’s Household
Mary Benwell and Catherine Read
Mary Moser and Angelica Kauffman
The Royal Couple and Zoffany
West and the Royal Family
Gainsborough and the Royal Family
Charlotte’s Matronage of the Minor Arts: Needlework, Wax Modeling and Engraving
Mary Knowles and Mary Linwood
Patience Wright
Caroline Watson
Artistic Instructors and the Royal Family
The Gendering of Artistic Genres: The Feminization of Amateur Art
Beyond the Royal Academy
Charlotte and Miniature Painting
George III and the Onset of Porphyria

Chapter 4: Charlotte’s Artistic Patronage between 1790 and 1809
The Royal Retreat at Frogmore: an Artistic and Botanical Haven
Botanical Artists Employed by Charlotte
Moser and Matronage at Frogmore
Printed Words and Images and the Royal Family
Charlotte and the Beechey Family
Matronage and Miniature Painting
Common Interests: Multiple Generations of Artistic Philanthropy
Charlotte and Portraiture in the 1790s
The British Institution

Chapter 5: The Last Decade of Patronage
Charlotte and Subsequent Generations



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