Term applied to the style of architecture, furniture and decorative art produced from 1811 until 1830, during the Prince Regency and subsequent reign of George IV

Thomas Rowlandson, ‘A Two O’Clock Ordinary’ 1811
Thomas Rowlandson
A Two O’Clock Ordinary 1811
Sir Thomas Lawrence, ‘Miss Caroline Fry’ 1827
Sir Thomas Lawrence
Miss Caroline Fry 1827
John Constable, ‘Mrs James Andrew’ 1818
John Constable
Mrs James Andrew 1818

The notoriously pleasure-loving Prince George, the future George IV, became Prince Regent in 1811 and then reigned from 1820 to 1830. Although the term implies the era when he was ‘Prince Regent’ it tends also to be applied to the period of his reign too.

Regency style is characterised by elements of classicism combined with Egyptian, Chinese and French Rococo influences. The range of the style is exemplified by the architecture of John Nash who designed terraced houses in Regents Park, London in a classical style, but also created the oriental fantasy of his Brighton Pavilion built for the Prince.

The great painter of the Regency era (but not of the period overall, as Constable, Blake and Turner were all at their height during this time); was Thomas Lawrence. Painter to the King from 1792 and knighted in 1815, Lawrence produced glittering but often technically deficient portraits of the leading figures of the day. More cutting views of the time can be found in the cartoons and caricatures of Gillray, and Rowlandson, who also made erotic drawings for the Prince.

See also

Tate Etc

John Constable's The Opening of Waterloo Bridge: Tate Etc. at Tate Britain / Artists' Perspectives

In celebration of the reopening of Tate Britain, Tate Etc. invited a selection of artists from around the world to ...

Tate Britain Exhibition

Centenary exhibition of works by John Constable

4 May – 31 Aug 1937
Centenary exhibition of works by John Constable: past Tate Britain exhibition
Tate Britain Exhibition

Constable: The Great Landscapes

1 Jun – 28 Aug 2006
Constable The Great Landscapes, Tate Britain

Meet 500 years of British Art - Room: 1810–1840

Curator Greg Sullivan explores British art from 1810–1840, a room which sees the emergence of sculpture