Princess Sophia’s Best Friend

By Joshua Reynolds –, Public Domain,

This intimate portrait of Princess Sophia Matilda of Gloucester was painted by Joshua Reynolds in 1774, when Sophia was just one year old.

A picture so sickly sweet it would give you cavities of the eyeball, this image was probably painted to commemorate the little princess’ birth, and due to the princess’ fairly modest depiction, it could be argued that this portrait was not intended to be used as monarchical propaganda, but rather as a memento of the child, in the same way that school photos of children are placed in wallets today.

The dog being strangled by the little girl appears to be a Shih Tzu or Lhasa Apso, however I can only find facts that state these Asian dog breeds were closely guarded by the Asian elite and emperors until the 19th century, so perhaps more investigation is needed?

This little munchkin can be found at: 


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