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Downman was born in Ruabon and studied in London with Benjamin West. He specialised in elegant portraits and theatrical scenes. This allegory is his last known work. It belonged to Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (1772–1840), 5th Baronet, and hung at Wynnstay. At the 1819 Royal Academy it was accompanied by a poem: ‘Hail, lovely Peace! In glory spread thy arms... To crown blest Britain in triumphant charms. Europe's encircled Sov'reigns join thy ways…’ The 'Late Princess' is the daughter of George IV, Charlotte Augusta of Wales (1796–1817), whose death in childbirth was lamented as a national disaster. She is represented by the winged Peace and the enthroned England. The trophy of weapons alludes to the defeated Napoleon, and the putto with a crown refers to 'Europe's encircled Sov'reigns', who regained their thrones after his fall.
oil on canvas
H 197.6 x W 222.1 cm
NMW A 3591
purchased from the Trafalgar Galleries, 1997