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One of several versions of the Queen's State Portrait which were painted by George Hayter in collaboration with his son Angelo specifically for display in British embassies and legations; the original, for which sittings began in July 1838, belongs to the Royal Collection and is now at Holyrood House. The Queen is shown seated in the 'Homage Chair' wearing the red and gold Dalmatic robes, the Imperial State Crown and holding the Sceptre with the Cross. Aged only 19 when the original portrait was painted, she moved one contemporary to write that 'there was something pathetic, too, in her extreme youthfulness, her face still had the flush and flower-like look of childhood, from which, small and slim as she was, she might easily be supposed to have not yet emerged ... She had so much natural dignity, and such an air of distinction.'
Sir Oliver Millar in his catalogue of 'The Victorian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen', has established that the Queen commissioned from the artist a version of the State Portrait for the British Embassy in Paris in August 1840, and that copies were later supplied to several other embassies and legations.
George Hayter was born in London. He entered the Royal Academy Schools in 1808 and later taught drawing and painting to Princess Charlotte, daughter of the Prince Regent. In 1815 he was made Painter of Miniatures and Portraits to Charlotte and her husband, Prince Leopold. In the next year he travelled to Italy with the support of the Duke of Bedford and entered the Accademia di San Luca as its youngest ever member. Although Hayter returned to London in 1818, he moved back to Italy in 1826 and was in Paris from 1828 to 1831. Hayter settled in England in the early 1830s, was appointed Principal Painter-in-Ordinary to Queen Victoria in 1841 and knighted the following year. Despite his successes, he was never admitted to the Royal Academy.
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