G. Will

Prince Charles Edward Stuart, 1720 - 1788. Eldest son of Prince James Francis Edward Stuart

About this artwork

This pro-Jacobite print dates from well after the return of Prince Charles to mainland Europe. It is both a call to maintain loyalty in adversity (‘From Copper here you see my outward Part/But to Oblige, Engrave me in your Heart’) and evidence of how the image of the tartan-clad liberator began to develop its own momentum. The figure is imaginary and neither the costume nor the setting derives from familiarity with the Highlands. The various elements of the picture – tartan, bonnet, thistles, targe, castle – combine to create a symbolic equivalent for Prince Charles Edward Stuart. The artist ‘Wassdail’ remains a mystery, the print-maker may mean the painter James Worsdale, to whom a similar tartan portrait of Prince Charles is attributed.

G. Will

G. Will

It is possible but not at all certain that G. Will is the same artist as Johann George Wille, who painted at least one but perhaps several portraits of Prince Charles Edward. The name G. Will does not appear anywhere else.