George IV at St Giles’s, Edinburgh by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851). c. 1822. Oil on mahogany panel, 746 x 918 mm mm. Courtesy of Tate Britain (Accession no. N02857. Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856). Click on image to enlarge it.

Commentary from Tate Britain Online (2010)

In 1822 George IV made the first state visit to Scotland since the Act of Union of 1707. The cathedral service [at St. Giles] here took place on Sunday 25 August, with the king under the canopy in the distance. The visit was choreographed with much tartan by the famous novelist Sir Walter Scott to promote both Scotland and British unity, and was witnessed by various artists. Turner was there, in the fruitless hope of securing the king’s patronage for a series of nineteen commemorative paintings, of which only two interiors and two sketchy seascapes survive.

Last modified 14 May 2016