Frederick the Great (1712-1786), King of Prussia 1740-1786, on horseback, in the uniform of the Prussian Life Guards, red-lined blue coat with red collar, black trousers, grey sash tied around his waist, wearing gloves and the breast-star of the Royal Prussian Order of the Black Eagle, black boots, a sword, tricorn hat adorned with black rosette in his powdered hair, holding a marshal's baton in his right hand, a gold blanket over his knees and another over the dapple grey horse's back, within a woodland landscape
signed and dated 'D. Chodowiecki pinx. 1777' (lower right)
on paper
rectangular, 7 x 5¾ in. (180 x 147 mm.), carved gilt-wood and gesso frame

Lot Essay

An apparently unsigned version, formerly in the Hohenzollern-Museum, Berlin, is illustrated in E. Lemberger, Die Bildnis-Miniatur in Deutschland von 1550 bis 1850, Munich, 1909, p. 257, fig. 212 and described p. 353, no. 212. Another version, signed and dated 1776, was with Gertrud Rudigier, Munich, in 1985, as advertised in Weltkunst, no. 5, 1 March 1985, colour illustration p. 403.
Frederick II of Prussia, better known as Frederick the Great, was the eldest son of Frederick William I of Prussia and Sophia Dorothea of Hanover. As such, he was a grandson of King George I of the United Kingdom (see lots 118 and 121). In 1733, his father arranged for him to marry Elisabeth Christina of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel-Bevern (see theprevious lot), but their marriage was unhappy and did not result in any children. Multi-lingual and a talented flautist, Frederick was a great proponent of the arts. He maintained a lengthy correspondence with Voltaire and commissioned many of Germany's most famous baroque buildings, including the Palace of Sanssouci, the New Palace and the Berlin State Opera.

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