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Landseer had his first interview to discuss this picture two months after the royal couple's marriage in 13 April 1840; at this stage the painting seems to have been planned as a happy sequel to Queen Victoria Riding Out (Royal Collection), which was exhi

The royal couple loved to present each other with artistic gifts

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Signed and dated 1843

RCIN 406010

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This alluring and intimate portrait of Queen Victoria was commissioned as a 'secret picture' for her husband's 24th birthday. The gift was a success, as the queen wrote:

he thought it so like, & so beautifully painted. I felt so happy & proud to have found something that gave him so much pleasure

Queen Victoria's Journal, 26 August, 1843

The painting was hung in Prince Albert's Writing Room at Windsor and Queen Victoria later referred to it as 'my darling Albert's favourite picture' (Journal, 2 January, 1873).