Queen Victoria (1819-1901) Reigned 1837-1901
About the work
Queen Victoria is dressed in her Robes of State in this head and shoulders portrait lithograph, one of a pair derived from artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s full-length portraits of Victoria and Prince Albert, painted in 1859 (Royal Collection).
They were two of five lithographs exhibited at the Royal Academy by artist and printmaker John Alfred Vinter in 1860, all of which were engraved for Queen Victoria after works by Winterhalter in the Royal Collection. The other three lithographs exhibited were after Winterhalter’s portraits of Victoria and Albert’s children: Prince Leopold, Princess Beatrice and Prince Arthur.
About the artist
John Alfred Vinter studied at the Royal Academy Schools, winning a gold medal for painting in 1849. Fellow pupils included future PRB members and in c.1848 he was a founder member of the Cyclographic Society. After leaving, he studied lithography. He exhibited at the Academy, the British Institution and Society of British Artists. He had at least five children including painter Frederick Armstrong Vinter. By 1873 he was Lithographer to the Queen, generally producing works to be privately printed for presentation purposes. His paintings were first prizes in the Art Union of Great Britain’s shilling draws of 1872 and 1875. From 1880 he taught Byam Shaw. He was an unsuccessful candidate for election to the Academy in 1897 and died in May 1905.
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’.