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Carl Rudolph Sohn (1845-1908)

Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, with his family Signed and dated 1884

RCIN 404784

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Carl Rudolph was the son of Carl Ferdinand Sohn (1805-1867); the father was known to Queen Victoria through his portrait of the Queen of Hanover (RCIN 405078); the son was employed by members of the Royal Family 1882-6.

Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh (1844-1900) was Queen Victoria's fourth child. He is depicted here with his wife, Marie, and their two children, also called Alfred and Marie. The Duke is in the morning dress uniform of a Vice-Admiral and wearing the badges of St Patrick, St Michael and St George, the Star of India and St Vladimir of Russia.

The Duchess was not at all happy about having her portrait painted. She wrote in a letter: 'Another dreadful bore awaits me. The Queen has sent over her new court painter, Herr Sohn, who must produce a family group of the Duke, myself, and our two eldest children! This is an aggravation of sorrow that fell upon me like a shell. I am simply furious: besides hating the long sittings, I dislike still more having my pig-like face reproduced on canvas and handed over to posterity. When I was a nice, lively, thin and fresh young lady, I did not mind it so much, but now! His first sketch of me is monstrous as he was provided by the Queen with the most atrocious photographs that were ever made of me. I was so horrified that I could not conceal it and the poor man does not quite know what he is to think about the whole business.'