The Government Art Collection recognises its responsibility to artists, colleagues and all our audiences to represent the diversity of the UK and to embed anti-racist and equitable practices throughout our work. We are taking action to address inequality in the Collection and its interpretation.
This copy of the first state portrait of Queen Victoria to be painted by Frans Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873) shows the young queen at just 24. Winterhalter was one of the favourite artists of Victoria and she was reportedly delighted with this work and with a companion portrait of her husband, painted at the same time. The original works remain in the Royal Collection.
William Corden, painter, was born in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. He was apprenticed at the china works in Derby, painting onto china services until 1820, when he began work at the Coalport pottery in Shropshire. By 1824, he had moved to London and begun exhibiting at the Royal Academy. He settled in Windsor by 1836 and, in 1838, drew Queen Victoria on the East Terrace of Windsor Castle. He later painted several life-size copies of paintings in the Royal Collection for the Queen and, in 1844, Prince Albert arranged for him to visit Coburg to copy his family portraits. Corden worked at the Staffordshire potteries from 1854 on an unsuccessful project to combine enamelling and photography. He died in Nottingham at the age of 69.
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