Brighton News Story — 30 March 1801: George Prince of Wales as Grandmaster of the Freemasons

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The drawing of the Prince as Grand Master of the Freemasons, which we some time ago mentioned to be in a state of forwardness, has lately been finished, and does great credit to the artist, Mr Scott, of Brighton.  This admired portrait represents his Royal Highness, as seated in the superb chair of the Grand Hall, ornamented with the Ensigns of the ancient Order, and in attitude most graceful that can be conceived, with his right hand dropped easily on one arm of the chair, and his left supporting the Book of Constitutions resting on his knee.

From The Sussex Weekly Advertiser, 30 March 1801

An oil painting of this portrait is held in the Royal Pavilion and Museums’ collections. You can find it on our Image Store. Interestingly, the Prince’s position does not match the description in the newspaper: his right arm holds the book, and his left rests on the chair. It is not clear whether the ‘drawing’ mentioned in the article refers to the oil painting, or an early sketch. Perhaps the image was reversed for the final portrait. Or is more likely that the journalist was a little confused in his use of left and right?

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