Principal Painter in Ordinary
The title of Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King or Queen of England or, later, Great Britain, was awarded to a number of artists, nearly all mainly portraitists. It was different from the role of Serjeant Painter, and similar to the earlier role of "King's Painter". Other painters, for example Nicholas Hilliard had similar roles with different titles. "Principal Painter in Ordinary", first used for Sir Anthony Van Dyck, became settled as the usual title with John Riley in 1689.
The title reflected those used in other courts, especially the French Premier peintre du Roi, which went back to 1603. After the death of Queen Victoria in 1901, the appointment of the last and not very distinguished holder, James Sant, who was in his eighties, was not renewed for the new reign.
The following is a partial list of painters (in chronological order) who held the appointment of Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, or Queen:
Born 16th or 17th Century
- Sir Anthony Van Dyck (Flemish, 1599–1641), Principalle Paynter in Ordinary to King Charles I and his Queen (1632, at a £200 per annum retainer, plus payment for pictures made)
- Sir Peter Lely (Dutch, 1618–1680), Limner and Picture Drawer to King Charles II (1661, also £200 per annum)
- John Riley (1646–1691), Painter and Picture Drawer, 1681–1689, then Principal Painter in Ordinary, 1689–1691, jointly with Kneller
- Antonio Verrio (Italian, 1636–1707), Chief First Painter, 1684–1688
- Sir Godfrey Kneller (German, 1646–1723), Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, 1689–1723 (1689–1691 jointly with Riley)
- Charles Jervas (1675–1739), Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, 1723–1739
- William Kent (1685–1748), Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, 1740–1748, mainly a designer of interior decorations
Born 18th Century
- John Shackleton (1714–1767), Principal Painter in Ordinary to King George II and then King George III, 1749–1767
- Allan Ramsay (1713–1784), Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, 1767–1784
- Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, 1784–1792
- Sir Thomas Lawrence (1760–1830), Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, 1792–1830
- Sir David Wilkie (1785–1841), Principal Painter in Ordinary to King William IV and then Queen Victoria, 1830–1841
- Sir George Hayter (1792–1871), Principal Painter in Ordinary to Queen Victoria, 1841–1871
Born 19th Century
Van Dyck's appointment, like that of Kneller, was specifically to both the king and queen, but later ones normally only mentioned the monarch. Queen consorts sometimes made their own appointments. In 1796, when Lawrence was Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, William Beechey was "Portraitist" to Queen Charlotte, and also John Hoppner was "Portrait Painter to the Prince of Wales", having succeeded Sir Joshua Reynolds. Other occasional positions created included the "Flower Painter in Ordinary" (during the reigns of Queen Adelaide and Queen Victoria), "Miniature Painter in Ordinary", and "Marine Painter in Ordinary" (Queen Victoria). Sir Francis Bourgeois was appointed as royal landscape painter by George III in 1791.
- "The artistic establishment: Painters, Menders and Surveyors of the Pictures". British History Online. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Grosvenor Gallery; Stephens, F.G. (1887). Exhibition of the Works of Sir Anthony Van Dyck. H. Good and Son, Printers. p. 14. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
About the end of March or the beginning of April, 1632, Van Dyck arrived in England; he was almost immediately appointed Principal Painter in Ordinary to the King, knighted, presented with a gold chain, similar to that which had been given to ...
- Sharpe, K.; Lake, P. (1993). Culture and Politics in Early Stuart England. Stanford University Press. p. 223. ISBN 978-0-8047-2261-2. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Sainty, J.C.; Bucholz, R.O. (1997). Officials of the Royal Household, 1660–1837: Department of the Lord Chamberlain and associated offices. Office-holders in modern Britain. University of London, Institute of Historical Research. p. 51. ISBN 978-1-871348-40-8. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
In 1660 Lely was appointed 'Limner and Picture Drawer', being succeeded in 1681 by Riley as 'Painter and Picture Drawer'.
- Chilvers, I. (2003). The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists. Oxford paperback reference. Oxford University Press. p. 530. ISBN 978-0-19-953294-0. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Sainty, J.C.; O, B.R. (1997). Officials of the Royal Household, 1660–1837: Department of the Lord Chamberlain and associated offices. Office-holders in modern Britain. University of London, Institute of Historical Research. p. 52. ISBN 978-1-871348-40-8. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
... succeeded in 1681 by Riley as 'Painter and Picture Drawer'. In 1684 Verrio, appointed exceptionally by royal warrant, was designated 'Chief First Painter'. From 1689 'Principal Painter' was the recognized description of the office.
- Knox, G.; Pellegrini, G.A. (1995). Antonio Pellegrini, 1675–1741. Clarendon studies in the history of art. Clarendon Press. p. 47. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
.. with the great ceiling of the Banqueting House in Whitehall. In 1684, the Italian Antonio Verrio became 'Principal Painter', and for five years worked on grandiose projects at Windsor Castle. With the Revolution of 1688, Verrio fell out of favour ...
- Chambers's Encyclopedia. Chambers's Encyclopedia. Pergamon Press. 1967. p. 246. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
... (1646–1723), portrait painter, was born in Lubeck on 8 Aug. 1646 and first ... On Lely's death in 1680 Kneller came to share the royal patronage with Riley (died 1691).
- Winn, J.A. (1992). "When beauty fires the blood": love and the arts in the age of Dryden. University of Michigan Press. p. 347. ISBN 978-0-472-10339-3. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
... as Principal Painter to the King, first in a joint appointment with Riley (1689), then on his own (1691); King William had ...
- Chilvers, I. (2017). The Oxford Dictionary of Art and Artists. Oxford Quick Reference. OUP Oxford. p. 726. ISBN 978-0-19-102417-7. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Moore, A.W.; Crawley, C.; Norwich Castle Museum (1992). Family & friends: a regional survey of British portraiture. HMSO. p. 34. ISBN 978-0-11-701506-7. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
The archives at Raynham contain an account for work carried out by Charles Jervas, reputedly Sir Robert Walpole's favourite painter and Principal Painter to the King since 1723.
- Rogers, D.B.P.L.A.P.; Rogers, P.; Rosenberg, M. (2004). The Symbolic Design of Windsor-Forest: Iconography, Pageant, and Prophecy in Pope's Early Work. G – Reference, Information and Interdisciplinary Subjects Series. University of Delaware Press. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-87413-837-5. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Clarke (1834). The Georgian Era: Political and rural economists. Painters, sculptors, architects, and engravers. Composers. Vocal, instrumental and dramatic performers. The Georgian Era: Memoirs of the Most Eminent Persons, who Have Flourished in Great Britain, from the Accession of George the First to the Demise of George the Fourth. Vizetelly, Branston and Company. p. 190. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Phillimore, W.P.W.; Whitear, W.H. (1897). Historical Collections Relating to Chiswick. Phillimore. p. 175. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Smith, H. (2006). Georgian Monarchy: Politics and Culture, 1714–1760. Cambridge Studies in Early Modern British History. Cambridge University Press. p. 77. ISBN 978-0-521-82876-5. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
... The appointment of Kent – famed as a landscape and interior designer but no portraitist – gave rise to derogatory remarks ...
- Redgrave, S.; Redgrave, F.M. (1878). A Dictionary of Artists of the English School: Painters, Sculptors, Architects, Engravers and Ornamentists: with Notices of Their Lives and Work. G. Bell and sons. p. 388. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Ormond, R. (1977). The Face of Monarchy: British Royalty Portrayed. Phaidon. p. 30. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Pech, H.T.; Peabody, S.H.; Richardson, C.F. (1900). The International Cyclopædia: A Compendium of Human Knowledge. Revised with Large Additions. The International Cyclopædia: A Compendium of Human Knowledge. Revised with Large Additions. Dodd, Mead. p. 415. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
... On his return, being introduced to the Prince of Wales, afterward George III., he rapidly rose into favor, and in 1767 was appointed principal painter to the king.
- Smart, A.; Ramsay, A.; Scottish National Portrait Gallery (1992). Allan Ramsay, 1713–1784 (in Turkish). Scottish National Portrait Gallery. p. 133. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
... On Shackleton's death in 1767 Ramsay succeeded him in the full office of Principal Painter in Ordinary, which, before the ...
- Reynolds, J. (1824). The Complete Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds: First President of the Royal Academy : with an Original Memoir, and Anecdotes of the Author. The Complete Works of Sir Joshua Reynolds: First President of the Royal Academy : with an Original Memoir, and Anecdotes of the Author. T. M'Lean. p. 64. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
On the death of Mr. Allan Ramsay, in 1784, Sir Joshua was sworn as principal painter in ordinary to the King ...
- Agnew, J.H.; Bidwell, W.H. (1858). The Eclectic Magazine: Foreign Literature. Leavitt, Trow & Company. p. 136. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
In 1784 he succeeded Allan Ramsay as principal painter in ordinary to the King; and after an unrivaled career as a ...
- Seymour, C.C.B. (1858). Self-made men. Harper. p. 371. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
In the catalogue of 1792 he is described as "Thomas Lawrence, a principal painter in ordinary to his majesty." The year previous he had been elected an associate of the Royal Academy.
- The Art Journal. British periodicals in the creative arts. Virtue and Company. 1902. p. viii. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
... On the death of Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1792, Lawrence had been elected painter to the Dilettanti Society, and at the same time the King appointed him to succeed the late President as Principal Painter in Ordinary. During the ...
- Anderson, W. (1877). The Scottish Nation: Or, The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of the People of Scotland. The Scottish Nation: Or, The Surnames, Families, Literature, Honours, and Biographical History of the People of Scotland. A. Fullarton & Company. p. 641. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Tromans, N. (2007). David Wilkie: The People's Painter: The People's Painter. Edinburgh University Press. p. 100. ISBN 978-0-7486-3084-4. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Chilvers, I.; Osborne, H. (1988). The Oxford dictionary of art. Oxford University Press. p. 330. ISBN 978-0-19-860476-1. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Henry, M. (2016). Politics Personified: Portraiture, caricature and visual culture in Britain, c.1830-80. Manchester University Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-5261-1170-8. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
- Gere, C. (2010). Artistic Circles: Design & Decoration in the Aesthetic Movement. Harry N. Abrams. p. 42. ISBN 978-1-85177-602-3. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
James Sant, who in 1871 succeeded Sir George Hayter as Queen Victoria's Principal Painter-in-Ordinary, had a successful career as a portrait painter.
- Dias, Rosie, "1796: Portraiture after Reynolds" in The Royal Academy Summer Exhibition: A Chronicle, 1769–2018