King George III Portrait on View

A stately portrait of King George III in coronation robes anchors Jamestown Settlement’s new “Jamestown’s Legacy to the American Revolution” exhibition and will have a prominent place in the future American Revolution Museum at Yorktown galleries.  Measuring more than 8 feet by 5 feet, the oil-on-canvas painting was produced by the studio of Allan Ramsay, Principal Painter in Ordinary at the royal court, between 1762 and 1784.  The painting is in an 18th-century ornamented gilt frame topped with a crown. 

King George ascended to the British throne in 1760, during the period of the Seven Years’ War, and before the start of events that led up to the Revolutionary War.  Throughout his rule, George III worked to strengthen and reinforce British administration in the American colonies, and in most colonies appointed a governor.  The day-to-day administration of affairs was carried out by representative assemblies that often clashed with the royally appointed governors.  These colonial assemblies resisted attempts to enforce royal policies with which they did not agree and resented Britain’s control of their trading enterprises.  Eventually, King George’s American subjects would rise in opposition to his policies.

In “Jamestown’s Legacy to the American Revolution,” the King George portrait sets the stage for profiles of Revolutionary War-era descendants of people associated with 17th-century Jamestown, the first capital of colonial Virginia.  The special exhibition, which opened March 1 and continues through January 20, 2014, features more than 60 objects destined for exhibit at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown.

Work is under way on the new museum, which will replace the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown by late 2016 with expanded exhibition galleries and outdoor living-history areas offering a broad perspective on the entire Revolutionary period, from the beginnings of colonial unrest to the early years of the new nation.

A short video documents the conservation of the portrait and frame prior to public exhibit.

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