George IV was the single greatest Royal collector of art and instigator of architectural projects. He was passionately fond of lavish decoration and display. As Prince of Wales, he refurbished Carlton House in London; and built Brighton Pavilion. As King, he converted Buckingham House into Buckingham Palace; and made huge changes to Windsor Castle.
He furnished his palaces magnificently with French furniture, clocks, porcelain and sculpture. He was an avid collector of Dutch and Flemish paintings, including works by Rembrandt, Rubens and van Dyck. He patronised contemporary artists such as Reynolds, Gainsborough, Lawrence and Stubbs; and the sculptors Canova and Chantrey. He assembled the greatest collection of Sevres porcelain in the world; and a huge amount of historic and contemporary silver and gold objects.
OLIVER EVERETT is Librarian Emeritus of the Royal Library, Windsor Castle. He was Librarian there and Assistant Keeper of the Royal Archives from 1985 to 2002. He wrote articles on the Royal Library, helped with several books on the Royal Collection, wrote the official guidebook on Windsor Castle, taught a history course on it and advised on a television series on it.
He was in the British Diplomatic Service, 1967-78, including postings in India and Spain. He was Assistant Private Secretary to the Prince of Wales, 1978-80; and Private Secretary to Diana, Princess of Wales, 1981-83.
He lectures widely in Britain and abroad, including at the Victoria & Albert Museum, London; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Getty Museum, Los Angeles; and the New York Public Library. In Canada, at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. In Australia, at National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne and University of Melbourne; Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane. And to art societies in Britain, France, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Spain and New Zealand; and also on cruise ships.
He was educated at Cambridge University and did post-graduate work at Tufts University, Massachusetts; and at the London School of Economics.
King George IV - on the occasion of his Coronation
Sir Thomas Lawrence (English, 1769-1830), George IV (1762-1830), 1821, The Royal Collection, England, RCIN 405918, Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2017 | Public Domain