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Equestrian statue of King George III. SM M873. Photograph taken February 1954. ©A.C. Cooper (Colour) Ltd
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Peter Turnerelli (1774 - 1839)

Model for an equestrian statue of King George III

Plaster

Height: 3.4ft
Width (widest point): 2.11ft

Museum number: M873

Curatorial note

The King is shown on horse-back in full Roman costume, wearing a wreath. His left arm is bent as if to hold reins, while his right arm is extended to hold a baton. The horse is equipped with a bridle and heavily decorated saddle. The Roman dress may have been intended to boost his public image with an assertion of imperial strength at a time when the country was at war with the French Emperor Napoleon.

Turnerelli's work was popular with the Royal family. In 1810 he produced the so-called 'Jubilee' bust of George III of which there is a variant version with the King wearing a Roman toga and crowned with laurel.

Research has so far failed to identify a specific location or commission for this unexecuted equestrian statue.

Provenance help-art-provenance

Soane probably acquired this model from the sculptor; it was in Soane's collection by 1822 when it appears in a watercolour by J.M. Gandy, P113, placed on top of a cupboard in what is today the Colonnade. By c.1829-30 it had moved to the Dome Area where it is shown in later views.

Literature

J. Gilmartin, 'Peter Turnerelli, Sculptor', Quarterly Bulletin of the Irish Georgian Society, 10 (part 4), 1967, pp.5, 17 (reproduced)


If you have any further information about this object, please contact us: worksofart@soane.org.uk