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.
Franz Xaver Winterhalter was one of Queen Victoria’s favourite artists. Born in Menzenschwand, Germany, he settled in Paris in 1834. He was introduced to Queen Victoria by her uncle, Leopold King of the Belgians. Between 1843 and 1871, Winterhalter carried out a vast number of royal commissions in England, spending six to seven weeks there each summer, where he painted chiefly at Windsor Castle and Buckingham Palace. Winterhalter left Paris to live in Karlsruhe in 1871. Two years later, news of his death in Frankfurt, the result of typhus, reached Queen Victoria. ‘With all his peculiarities,’ she wrote to her eldest daughter, ‘I liked him so much’.
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