Original Author: Unknown; after work by Sir Godfrey Kneller
Medium: Oil on canvas
Publisher: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
Queen Anne, who ruled England and, after 1707, Great Britain, from 1702 to 1714, wears an ermine-trimmed blue robe and rests her left hand on the orb of state in this eighteenth-century painting based on one of two official portraits produced of the monarch at the studio of Sir Godfrey Kneller, the official artist to the royal court. A request was made on February 23, 1702/1703 for a portrait of Queen Anne to be sent to Virginia, "as hath been usual to all her Maj. Colonies." Kneller was commissioned to produce the work and it arrived in Virginia by April 21,1704. The Queen was officially thanked, and the painting hung in the Capitol Building in Williamsburg until at least June 2, 1777, when a visitor, Ebenezer Hazard, mentioned in his journal that he had seen it. The painting shown here is not that original portrait, but one derived from Kneller’s portrayals of the queen.