This print was made after the painting of 1875 by Heinrich von Angeli and published in 1877. It is not the most flattering portrait of Queen Victoria. However, she 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 versions remain in the Royal Collection.
Another indicator that Victoria was fond of the portrait is a label preserved in the Government Art Collection and formerly attached to this print. It reads: ‘Given by H. M. Queen Victoria to Captain Lord Charles Scott, H. M. S. Bacchante’.
The Captain Scott referred to is Lord Charles Thomas Montague-Douglas-Scott (1839-1911), a naval officer who commanded the Bacchante from 1879 to 1882, for which he was created a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB). This print was probably presented to him by Victoria in 1882. He later served as aide-de-camp to the Queen from 1886 to 1888.
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.
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