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Duleep Singh

Early Photographs in the Royal Collection

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

The Maharaja Duleep Singh (1838-93) Signed and dated 1854

RCIN 403843

Durbar Corridor, Osborne House

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In this portrait by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, the young Maharaja is depicted an imaginary landscape wearing Indian dress with his diamond aigrette and star in his turban and a jewel-framed miniature of Queen Victoria by Emily Eden around his neck. Queen Victoria recorded in her journal on 10 July 1854 that 

Winterhalter was in ecstasies at the beauty and nobility of bearing of the young Maharaja. He was very amiable and patient, standing so still and giving a sitting of upwards of 2 hrs

Queen Victoria, Journal, (RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 10 July 1854)

Winterhalter was born in Germany and was the principal portrait painter at the court of Queen Victoria during the first half of her reign. He first came to London in 1842 on the recommendation of Louise, Queen of the Belgians, and he continued to work for Queen Victoria at intervals until his death, painting well over a hundred pictures. He was an artist of international status and Queen Victoria admired the light, fresh colours of his work, and frequently commissioned him to paint subjects of private significance.