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Attributed to Sir James Thornhill, 1675–1734
Allegory of the Power of Great Britain by Land, design for a decorative panel for George I's ceremonial coach
ca. 1718
Materials & Techniques:
Oil on panel
18 x 21 inches (45.7 x 53.3 cm)
Credit Line:
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
Copyright Status:
Public Domain
Accession Number:
Paintings and Sculpture
Subject Terms:
allegory | banner | ceremony | cherubs | coach | coat of arms | costume | crest | design | gold (color) | historical subject | land | lion | men | mythology | nude | panel (wood) | unicorn | women
Not on view
IIIF Manifest:

This pair of panels was probably made in the studio of Sir James Thornhill, a British artist who specialized in painting large, decorative allegories for the interiors of houses and public buildings. They are preliminary designs for a new state coach for George I that he would have used to travel to and from ceremonial occasions and were probably executed by an assistant from drawings sketched by Thornhill. Both are emblematic of Britain’s new imperial ambitions, proclaiming the greatness of British power on land and at sea, with Neptune and Hercules paying homage to Britannia, who stands alongside the arms of the new Hanoverian king. In the end, the idea of a new state coach was abandoned, and George I continued to use the existing coach of Queen Anne.

Gallery label for installation of YCBA collection, 2016

Jeremy Barker, Sir James Thornhill's painted coach panels in Dorset County Museum - in context, The Friends of Sherborne House, England, p. 14, V 2828 [ORBIS]

John Baskett, Painting in England: 1700-1850: the Collection of English paintings formed by Mr and Mrs Paul Mellon : on Exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, until August 18th, , Connoisseur, Vol. 153, London, June 1963, p. 102, N1 C75 + (YCBA) [YCBA]

Malcolm Cormack, Concise Catalogue of Paintings in the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 1985, pp. 222-223, N590.2 A83 (YCBA) [YCBA]

Painting in England 1700-1850 : collection of Mr. & Mrs. Paul Mellon : Exhibition at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, , 1,2, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond, VA, 1963, p. 193, no. 370a, ND466 V57 v.1-2 (YCBA) [YCBA]

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