The present portrait is a version of the original portrait of King George III painted by Reynolds, together with its companion piece of Queen Charlotte, (see D. Mannings, Reynolds, Catalogue of the exhibition at the Royal Academy, London, 1986, no. 114 and no. 115). The portraits were to be shown in 1780 at the first exhibition held by the Academy at Somerset House. King George III established the Royal Academy in 1768 and it is believed that the King agreed to sit to Reynolds as part of the artist's conditions in accepting the Presidency of the Academy.