Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Reigned 1837-1901
Oil on canvas
About the work
Interpretation about this artwork is under review
Painted in her 66th year, Queen Victoria is represented as a lone figure, standing before her throne, within a magnificent palace, and staring thoughtfully into the distance. She carries a fan and is dressed in a black satin dress trimmed with lace and ermine, a small crown and numerous jewels. The blue sash across her chest and the adjacent badge (the Star of the Garter) represent her membership of the Order of the Garter, the highest order of English Chivalry. To the left of the image is a stone balcony, beyond which the tops of trees within the palace grounds can be seen.
This work is a copy by Henry Macbeth-Raeburn of an 1885 portrait by Heinrich von Angeli. It was the second portrait of the Queen to be commissioned from Angeli by Victoria herself. Angeli painted her for the first time in 1875 and for a third time, as an elderly woman, just two years before her death in 1899. Stamps issued in East Africa from 1896 to 1901 use an image of the head of Victoria based on this portrait.
About the artist
Heinrich von Angeli was born in Sopron, Austria. He moved to Vienna in 1853 to live with his uncle. In 1854 he enrolled at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and moved to Dusseldorf two years later to study under Friedrich von Amerling. From 1859 to 1862 he produced history paintings in Munich. He then returned to Vienna, where he exhibited at the World Fair. He moved to Italy in 1871, turning to genre and portrait painting. He received portrait commissions from the courts of Vienna, St. Petersburg and London. He became a professor of the Academy of Fine Arts and President of the Künstlerhaus in Vienna. He remained in Vienna (occasionally sending work to the Royal Academy or Grosvenor Gallery in London) until his death at the age of 85.
Henry Macbeth-Raeburn, painter and engraver, was the son of the portrait painter Norman Macbeth (1821-1888). His siblings included the painters Norman (1821-1888) and James (1847-1891), and Allan Macbeth (1856-1910), a noted organist, choirmaster and principal of the Glasgow College of Music. Henry added Raeburn to his name to distinguish himself from the other painters in his family. He began his career in Edinburgh, but later moved to London. He exhibited 17 works at the Royal Academy, 4 at the New Water-Colour Society and one at the Royal Society of British Artists in Suffolk Street, London.
- royal portrait, woman, 19th century costume, ermine, robe, ring, bracelet, necklace, brooch, fan, earring, veil, riband, fur, ribbon (as Subject - costume accessory), widow, crown, Order of the Garter, Queen, balustrade, column, pillar (architectural feature), steps, window, curtain, carpet