Panel

Allegorical Figures: Britannia Enthroned, surrounded by Concord, Learning and Religion overcoming Vice (panel from Royal State Coach for George I)

ca. 1718 (made)

Thornhill, James (Sir)

Height: 54 cm, Width: 60.2 cm, Depth: 1.8 cm

W.13-1944 FWK

Panel, Allegorical Figures: Britannia Enthroned, surrounded by Concord, Learning and Religion overcoming Vice, by Sir James Thornhill, ca. 1718

A rectangular panel with a stepped, arched top, painted on a gold ground with a seated figure of Britannia, below the British royal arms, surrounded by allegorical figures

This panel, with its pair (W.13-1944) was painted by Sir James Thornhill as one of the two door panels from a state coach built for King George I in about 1718. Coaches were always a highly important emblem of the wealth and power of monarchs and in this case George I took the opportunity to add a strong statement about his intentions as king. He came to the throne in 1714, after the death of Queen Anne, and by 1718 had already had to face an uprising of the Jacobites, British supporters of the Stuart dynasty. The panel shows Brittania (the figure who represents Britain) enthroned in the centre, with a lion at her feet. On the left are figures of Concord (standing) and Learning (seated). On the right stands a male figure representing Religion overcoming Vice. The nine female figures in the background may be the Muses, the goddesses of creative inspiration in the arts. Thornhill was appointed History Painter to George I in 1718 and Sergeant Painter (a more lucrative post) in 1720. He turned his decorative talents to ceilings, walls and theatrical scenery, as well as to coach panels.

Panel for a state coach for George I

Given by Miss Turner

Location: In Storage

View this object on the V&A website