STADLER, J. C. after ROBERT LIVESAY
The Royal Review at Hatfield Herts June 13 1800
Portsea: Livesay, 1802. Colour-printed aquatint with hand-coloring. Image size (including text): 17 3/4 x 26 1/2 inches. Sheet size: 26 3/4 x 30 1/2 inches.
A brilliant panorama of a patriotic convocation during the Napoleonic Wars.
As George III raises his hat, seated upon a white horse and the rest of the Royal Family watches from carriages, the smartly uniformed volunteer troops of Hertfordshire march and ride through Hatfield Park. Painted in 1800 by Richard Livesay (1750-1823), the aquatint print was done by J. C. Stadler and published in 1802. The parade seems to stretch on for miles, though the military display seems to be somewhat secondary to the beautiful rolling landscape in the distance and Hatfield House, symbol of British stability and ascendency. By 1802, fighting the French to preserve Britannia had become a perpetual task for every generation since William and Mary. And of course enthusiasm for it had to be constantly re-ignited by demonstrations of the glamour of soldiery and war, and reminders of the greatness and loveliness of England. Livesay's print does all of these things extremely well, giving us an elevated view of the King and family, row upon row of earnest young men in dress uniforms and an infinite landscape.