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.
Queen Victoria is depicted in a black satin dress and white head-dress, still mourning the death of her husband, Prince Albert, who died on 14 December 1861. This painting by Dorofield Hardy is a copy after the original portrait of 1875 by Heinrich von Angeli. Victoria was clearly pleased with it as she commissioned a second portrait from the artist some 10 years later. Angeli painted her for a third time, as an elderly woman, just two years before her death in 1899 and all three portraits remain in the Royal Collection.
Dorofield Hardy was a painter of figures, landscapes, interiors and miniature portraits. In 1889, he was living in Pembridge Place, Bayswater, when he exhibited a single work at the Royal Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street, entitled ‘A New Piece’. Following this he exhibited at numerous other venues, including 16 works at the Dudley Gallery, London; eleven at the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours and eight at the Royal Miniature Society. Hardy was also frequently employed to produce accurate copies of works by other artists.
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