Unfair to George: Letter

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Sir: Andrew Graham-Dixon's implied criticism of George III as "a monarch who did not care much for painting" is hardly fair in view of that king's constant patronage of artists and purchase of Consul Smith's magnificent Italian collection. ("Traces of greatness", 22 October).

George III founded the Royal Academy, paying for initial expenses out of his privy purse. After 1777 he ordered the return of the Raphael cartoons from the "obscurity" of Buckingham Palace to the Wren Gallery at Hampton Court, and they have remained on public display almost ever since.


London SW15