Monday, March 3, 2014

Painting of the Day: Prince Arthur, 1852

Prince Arthur
Franz Xaver Winterhalter, 1852
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873) was a favorite of Prince Albert and Queen Victoria who often commissioned the artist to produce family scenes which included the Royal children and pets—specialties of the painter.

The German-born Winterhalter had been brought to Queen Victoria’s attention by the Queen of the Belgians in 1842. He worked for the Royal Court until his death.

This handsome portrait by Winterhalter was completed in 1852. It depicts Prince Arthur (1850–1942), the third son and seventh of the nine children of Queen Victoria and the Prince Consort. Prince Arthur depicted seated, holding a soldier doll. A copy of the portrait was made by Winterhalter by command of Queen Victoria who presented it to Prince Arthur’s godfather, the Duke of Wellington on the occasion of the Prince’s birthday.

We should remember that in the mid-Nineteenth Century, little boys were still being attired in what is essentially a dress.

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