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    Sale 7813

    Glin Castle - A Knight in Ireland

    7 May 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 26

    William Turner de Lond (fl. c. 1820 - c. 1837)

    King George IV at College Green, Dublin, 1821

    Price Realised  

    William Turner de Lond (fl. c. 1820 - c. 1837)
    King George IV at College Green, Dublin, 1821
    pencil, watercolour, bodycolour, and gum arabic
    14 3/8 x 19½ in. (36.0 x 49.5 cm.)


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    After his coronation in July 1821, King George spent the following year working at increasing his popularity across his new kingdom with visits firstly to Ireland in late 1821 and then Scotland in 1822. Turner de Lond executed a pair of studies in watercolour of both visits that were finished in oil. The Dublin scene was formerly in the collection of Sir James Rush Meyrick and is now in The National Gallery, Dublin, and the Edinburgh scene is in the National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh.

    As the first monarch to visit Ireland since the reign of King Richard II (1367-1400), the King gained momentary popularity among the people he visited, but this was marred by rumours that he had in fact travelled to Ireland to visit his mistress Elizabeth, Lady Conyngham (1769-1861) at Slane Castle, Co. Meath.

    Turner de Lond painted at least four known works of the King's visit. The largest of the works (in oil), depicting the King's formal entry into Dublin, is held in the National Gallery of Ireland. The present watercolour depicts the same procession, with the King's open carriage visible to the right of the sheet, following those of the Lord Mayor of Dublin and of the Lord Lieutenant, as it winds its way through an area of Dublin known as College Green, past the Bank of Ireland and Trinity College. When remarking on the architecture that he had seen, the King said that 'The beauty of the city...and the splendour of its buildings, perfectly surprise me, I had no conception of it, its beauty can be known only by those that visit it' (Laffan, op.cit., p. 193).

    Turner de Lond has depicted the hustle and bustle of a crowd scene, with a number of onlookers standing on the roof of the Bank in order to get a better view of the monarch as he makes his way through their city with their hats raised in a celebratory salute.

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    Literature

    Laffan, Painting Ireland, 2006, pp. 190-197, pl. 135.