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Charlotte Canning, Viscountess Canning (1817-61)

Cologne from the Hôtel de Belle Vue at Deutz 1845

Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour | 15.8 x 24.0 cm (whole object) | RCIN 920523

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  • A watercolour view of Cologne seen from across the water.

    In August 1845 Queen Victoria visited Germany for the first time, in company with her husband Prince Albert. The main purpose of the couple’s trip was to stay with Albert’s brother Duke Ernest II and his wife Alexandrine in Coburg, where Albert grew up and where Queen Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, was also born. They stayed at Deutz on 5 September en route back to England.

    Victoria and Albert commissioned a number of watercolours capturing scenes of their visit and views of places in which they stayed and the sights they saw during their visit to Germany. They also arranged to have Charlotte Canning, one of Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, accompany them; a talented amateur artist, Charlotte stated that she was ordered by the Queen to “draw all day long” during the trip (Millar 1995, I, p. 164). Victoria and Albert were very pleased with her work though – 14 of her watercolours were mounted by them into their View Album, and the Queen recorded that after their return from Germany, she and her husband ‘enjoyed looking at the beautiful sketches Lady Canning made, during our Tour, which are so like all the places’ (Queen Victoria’s journal, 11 September 1845).

    This watercolour was originally mounted in View Album III. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert compiled nine View Albums during their marriage. These albums contained watercolours and drawings documenting their life together and were arranged in chronological order. The albums were dismantled in the early twentieth century and rebound in new volumes both in a different arrangement and with additional items, but a written record of their original contents and arrangement still exists.


    Commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Medium and techniques

    Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour


    15.8 x 24.0 cm (whole object)