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From Caledonia to the Continent

James Giles (1801-70)

A View of Balmoral Signed and dated 1848

Oil on panel | 56.0 x 81.6 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external) | RCIN 405007

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Prince Albert had bought the lease to Balmoral Castle in Scotland after Sir Robert Gordon, the lessee, died in 1847. It was, according to Queen Victoria, ‘a pretty little castle in the old Scottish style. There is a picturesque tower and garden in front with a high wooded hill: at the back there is wood down to the Dee; and the hills rise all around’. In June 1852 Prince Albert bought the estate outright. The painting shows a view of the old castle from the east, as if from the high ground above Crathie and with the bend in the River Dee below. The road where a rider and dog are depicted leads from Ballater to Braemar. Queen Victoria bought this painting and another by the same artist of Lochnagar, a mountain on the Balmoral estate (RCIN 405007) to give to Prince Albert for Christmas in 1848. Signed and dated: J. Giles / 1848.