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.
James Sant, portrait and genre painter, was born in Croydon, Surrey. In 1842 he entered the Royal Academy Schools. Early in his career, he was commended for his idealised depictions of children. He later became a fashionable portrait painter and was elected a Royal Academician in 1869 and a member of La Regia Accademia Raffaello in Urbino, Italy, in 1877. He was appointed portrait painter to Queen Victoria in 1872 and as such enjoyed the patronage of many noble and landed families in England, although Victoria herself refused to sit to him. He did, however, paint state portraits of the Queen for the embassies of Turkey and Madrid. Sant died at his home in Lancaster Gate, near Hyde Park, at the impressive age of 96.
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