Signed and dated: “Domingos An.to de Sequeira inv. e Pintou em 1810”.
The Prince, sitting on clouds and flanked by a lion, is surrounded by a court of figures alluding to his virtues as a ruler (Generosity, Public Happiness, Religion, Compassion, Piety, Clemency, Stability, Greatness of the Soul, Heroism, Affability, Docility).
Beneath, on the ground, a young genius of the Nation wields a shield with the Royal Coat of Arms. He is surrounded by a numerous group of figures that symbolise the virtues of his subjects (Faithfulness, Yearning, Joy, Love of the Nation, Faith, Gratitude, Continence), who display their gratitude by acclaiming the prince. Next to the monument are Minerva, Mercury and Time observing History, who records the dedication on an enormous pedestal. Military movements in the lower left corner and a fleet on the line of the horizon allude to the expulsion of the French army and the entry of the allied English troops during the French Invasions.
The painter Domingos António de Sequeira (1771-1837) was arrested in 1810 and accused of having collaborated with Napoleon’s invading troops. The artist defended himself by painting allegories to the virtues of the Prince Regent and the glory of the Duke of Wellington, having designed the silver tableware that the grateful Nation offered to that English general.
King João VI (1767-1826), the third son of Queen Maria I and King Pedro III, was born in Lisbon and married Princess Carlota Joaquina, the daughter of Carlos IV of Spain, in 1785. On the death of his brother José, the Prince of Brazil, he became the queen’s direct heir in 1788. From 1792 onwards, he was made Prince Regent due to Queen Maria I’s incapacity for government. In 1818, he was acclaimed king, two years after his mother’s death in Rio de Janeiro.