More than a century after her death, a previously unseen portrait of a young Queen Victoria, described as her husband Prince Albert’s “favourite picture”, is to soon go on display at an exhibition in London.
The portrait, commissioned in 1843, shows the queen with her long brown hair loose around her shoulders, gazing into the distance. She was just 24 when painted by the German artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
The artwork is just one of 400 paintings, drawings, photographs, drawings and sculptures which will appear in an exhibition Buckingham Palace, showing the queen’s enthusiasm for art, The Daily Telegraph reported.
The exhibition, Victoria & Albert: Art and Love, focuses on the time between her accession to the throne in 1837 and Albert’s death in 1861.
One of the queen’s journals shows her delight upon accepting the proposal of marriage: “Oh! to feel I was, and am, loved by such an Angel as Albert was too great a delight to describe! He is perfection in every way — in beauty, in everything!”
Jonathan Marsden, chief curator of the exhibition, said the collection should challenge the image of the queen as a melancholy widow who grieved her husband’s death for 40 years.
“This exhibition will overturn the popular image of Queen Victoria and reveal an energetic, passionate young woman who delighted in the company of artists, musicians and performers and who idolised the opera and ballet stars of the time,” he was quoted as saying.