William Pether after Thomas Frye
His Most Sacred Majesty George the III King of Great Britain &c [&] Her Most Excellent Majesty Charlotte Queen of Great Britain &c
12 x 16.5
A pair of mezzotint portraits with thickly applied gouache colour, engraved by William Pether after Thomas Frye and published in London in 1762.
These portraits are all the more striking for their sparce colouration. The uncoloured, ashen faces of the king and queen give the sitters an almost sculptural appearance. In contrast, the jewellery and robes of state have been richly embellished with deep reds, blues and a golden yellow.
William Pether worked closely with Frye and collaborated on many of Frye's engraved works. After a prolonged illness in the 1750s, Frye returned to London and attended the Playhouse with the specific intention of getting up close and personal to the new king and queen (George and Charlotte had married in September 1761). Unfortunately, corpulence and gout got the better of him and he died, all to prematurely, in 1762. Pether, who had a very similar artistic style, took up the reigns and completed much of Frye's work. This pair of prints are, therefore, a charming combination of their abilities and a fitting testament to England's new monarch and his popular wife.