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Carl Georg Anton Graeb (1816-84)

The view from the terrace of the Casino, Glienicke c.1858-59

Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour | 22.2 x 31.7 cm (whole object) | RCIN 920705

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  • A watercolour showing a distant view of the Belvedere, seen across the river, from the terrace of the Casino of the Glienicke Palace. Signed at bottom right: 'C Gr...' [trimmed].

    Glienicke Palace was the home of the Prince and Princess Charles of Prussia, who were the aunt and uncle of Prince Frederick William, husband to Victoria and Albert's eldest daughter Vicky, the Princess Royal. Vicky married Prince Frederick William (who was also a nephew of King Frederick William IV of Prussia) in January 1858. She was only 17 years old at the time and, though the marriage had not been forced upon the young Princess, her departure was inevitably a wrench for both mother and daughter. Queen Victoria missed her greatly, and wrote letters to her every few days; the Queen's feeling of separation was compounded when she learned in May 1858 that the Princess was expecting her first child (the future Kaiser William II). A visit to Germany was quickly arranged, and in August Queen Victoria and Prince Albert set out by train from Antwerp to spend two weeks with their daughter.

    On 21 August Queen Victoria recorded a morning visit to Glienicke in her journal, commenting that the group "breakfasted in a charming spot, just outside the Casino, close above the water, with a beautiful view." She clearly made her hosts aware of her appreciation of the vista as Prince Charles commissioned this watercolour from Graeb as a souvenir for her. Victoria did not receive it until December 1859, though - Prince Charles blamed the delay on the absence, illness and laziness of the artist.Carl Graeb had come to the notice of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert when the Prussian King had presented them with six views by Graeb of the King's Rhineland castle Schloß Stolzenfels after their visit in 1845. A number of other watercolours of Schloß Babelsberg, Sanssouci and around Berlin were ordered from the artist following the 1858 visit. Graeb did, indeed, paint a larger watercolour that autumn much more quickly for Prince Albert, who commissioned a view of Potsdam to give to his wife for Christmas 1858 (see RCIN 920706).

    This watercolour was originally mounted in View Album VIII. 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.
    Provenance

    Given to Queen Victoria by Prince Charles of Prussia, 1859

  • Medium and techniques

    Pencil, watercolour and bodycolour

    Measurements

    22.2 x 31.7 cm (whole object)