Saturday, February 16, 2013

Object of the Day, Museum Edition: A Bust of Young Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria
Marble Bust 1843
The Victoria & Albert Museum
We tend to always think of Queen Victoria as the Dowager Queen in her mourning dress, looking quite grim. Though she was never heralded for her enormous beauty, the Queen, as a young woman, was quite handsome, and images of her such as this one remind us of that.

This marble bust of Queen Victoria shows her in the simple, feminine attire she favored. Her royal status is indicated by the royal coat of arms on the front of the plinth.

The bust is the work of Johann Jacob Flatters (1786-1845), a German sculptor known to Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, who trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts (School of Fine Arts) in Paris, under the French artists Jean-Antoine Houdon (1741-1828) and Jacques-Louis David (1748-1825). It is believed that Albert commissioned the bust of his beloved young wife.

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