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William Wyld (1806-89)

The château of Saint-Cloud dated 1855

RCIN 920061

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A watercolour and bodycolour drawing of the château of Saint-Cloud, seen from the river Seine, with boats, including one flying the tricolore and the Red Ensign. Signed and dated at lower right: William Wyld 1855 [partly cut], and at lower left: St Cloud. In August 1855 Queen Victoria and Prince Albert spent ten days in Paris, on the invitation of Napoleon III and his wife Eugénie. The historic state visit was intended to celebrate the military alliance between Britain and France in the Crimean War, and followed a visit by the imperial couple to Windsor in April that year. The party stayed at the Saint-Cloud, to the west of Paris, one of Napoleon III's favoured residences, which was razed to the ground during the Franco-Prussian War. William Wyld spent most of his working life in France and Belgium, where he became a successful watercolourist. His work was greatly admired by Queen Victoria, and Wyld spent a year in Britain in 1852 when he made watercolours of Manchester and Liverpool and spent the summer at Balmoral.