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Portraits

Sir William Ross (1794-1860), Queen Victoria (1819-1901), 1839, RCIN 420260 ©

Queen Victoria was the first Queen Regnant, and Prince Albert the first male consort, since the early 1700s. This presented a challenge to portrait painters, since the conventions that had been appropriate for Victoria’s male predecessors no longer applied.

Winterhalter looked for inspiration to the Dutch and Flemish old masters, especially Van Dyck, but his Royal Family in 1846 was a brilliant and original response to the challenge. The viewer is left in no doubt that the Queen and her eldest son represent the royal line, while Prince Albert rules the family.

Winterhalter’s family picture quickly became famous through public exhibition and engraving. Many of the other portraits shown here were painted for the eyes of the family only. Several record their life away from the official world, in Scotland or the Isle of Wight. The young Queen and her husband appear in a variety of guises–as medieval rulers, in full Highland garb or even as the Holy Family–in a group of royal portraits of unprecedented range.

Sir William Ross (1794-1860)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Sir William Ross (1794-1860)

Prince Albert (1819-1861)

Emil Wolff (1802-79)

Prince Albert

Sir Francis Chantrey (1781-1841)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Sir William Ross (1794-1860)

Prince Albert (1819-61)

Sir William Ross (1794-1860)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Benedetto Pistrucci (1784-1855)

Prince Albert

Charles Brocky (1807-55)

Queen Victoria

Charles Brocky (1807-55)

Prince Albert

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Prince Albert (1819-61)

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Robert Thorburn (1818-85)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

Emil Wolff (1802-79)

Prince Albert

John Gibson (1790-1866)

Queen Victoria

Sir Edwin Landseer (1803-73)

Victoria, Princess Royal, with Eos

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

The Royal Family in 1846

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Queen Victoria with Prince Arthur

Leonard Charles Wyon (1826-91)

Seven portrait medals of Royal children

Sir William Ross (1794-1860)

Princess Louise (1848-1939)

William Essex (1784-1869)

Princess Alice (1843-1878)

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

The First of May 1851

Baron Carlo Marochetti (1805-67)

Prince Arthur

Annie Dixon (1817-1901)

Princess Beatrice (1857-1944).

Johann Georg Paul Fischer (1786-1875)

Edward, Duke of Kent (1767-1816)