A Royal Courtier

Richard Cosway (1742-1821)


This gentleman’s distinctive navy blue coat with gold buttons and red collar indicates his position as a senior royal courtier at Windsor Castle. It was George III who standardised the attire of his courtiers with a ceremonial ‘dress’ coat heavy with gold braid and a plainer ‘undress’ coat, as seen here, for everyday wear.

Dating to the 1790s, this portrait is typical of Cosway’s mature style. He and his wife Maria were the arbiters of Regency fashion and their studio was like a magnet for the fashionable and would-be fashionable of London society. Flamboyant in his own dress, Cosway was an excellent self-promoter and frequented public events such as the theatre and art sales just to be seen and admired.

The portrait is presented in a later gilt metal frame, the reverse glazed to show thickly plaited brown hair.

Item Ref. 9112

Size: framed, 64 x 50mm

Provenance: Sotheby's, 24 Nov. 1983