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Baron Carlo Marochetti (1805-67)

Prince Albert 1849

Marble | 74.5 x 49.0 x 29.3 cm (whole object) | RCIN 31628

Inner Hall, Windsor Castle

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  • This was the first of fifteen works acquired or commissioned from the Piedmontese sculptor Carlo Marochetti by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert (1819-61). Marochetti - who inherited his title in the nobility of Sardinia from his father - had studied in Paris and Rome before settling in England in 1848, at the same time as his former patron, the recently deposed French King Louis-Philippe. It was largely due to the close links between the French and English royal families that Marochetti soon became the favourite sculptor of the Queen and Prince Albert. Their friendship is clearly evident in correspondence, and after the Prince Consort's sudden death in 1861 it was Marochetti who was asked to carve his marble effigy - and that of the Queen (added to the monument after her death forty years later) - for the Royal Mausoleum at Frogmore. The Baron's privileged position created resentment among British-born sculptors, especially when in 1856 he received the valuable commission for a monument at Scutari to the fallen of the Crimea without a preliminary competition.

    Sittings for the present bust began in July 1848. The Queen recorded in her journal that she found the likeness 'extremely successful' and the artist 'very agreeable, pleasant and gentlemanlike'. Completed in marble the following year, it was subsequently reproduced in miniature, both in bronze and in Minton's Parian ware. After the Prince's death the bust took his place in Sir Joseph Noel Paton's group portrait of the royal family, In Memoriam. The same substitution was made in photographs, although it was more often William Theed's bust of 1862 that was used. Comparing the two busts, the Prince's eldest daughter Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia, considered Marochetti's 'a better work of art' than Theed's, which was none the less in her opinion 'much more like' her father (letter to Queen Victoria, 24 March 1863).

    Catalogue entry from Royal Treasures, A Golden Jubilee Celebration, London 2002
    Provenance

    Given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert, 1848. [Victoria & Albert: Art & Love, London, 2010, pg 456]

    Commissioned by Prince Albert, 1848 (£120);

  • Medium and techniques

    Marble

    Measurements

    74.5 x 49.0 x 29.3 cm (whole object)