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King George VI (1895–1952) became a Freemason in 1919 and held a number of important positions within the United Grand Lodge of England, the governing body of Freemasonry in England and Wales. In 1937 he was awarded the honorary title of Past Grand Master. In this portrait, he is wearing the robes of the Order of the Garter, the highest chivalric order in the United Kingdom. George VI chose Sir Herbert James Gunn to paint this portrait in 1950, but it was not completed until 1957, five years after the King’s death.
oil on canvas
H 239 x W 150 cm (E)
commissioned by the United Grand Lodge of England, 1957
H.M. KING GEORGE VI SENIOR GRAND WARDEN 1923-1924. PROVINCIAL GRAND MASTER, Middlesex, 1924-1936. PAST GRAND MASTER, 1937.'