Queen Victoria

1 portrait on display in Room 24 at the National Portrait Gallery

Queen Victoria, after Unknown artist, circa 1842 - NPG D33583 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Queen Victoria

after Unknown artist
coloured lithograph, circa 1842
21 3/4 in. x 14 3/4 in. (552 mm x 376 mm) paper size
Purchased, 1902
Reference Collection
NPG D33583


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Sitterback to top

  • Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Reigned 1837-1901. Sitter associated with 524 portraits, Artist associated with 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

This portraitback to top

Eager to signal a new age of royal prudence, Queen Victoria's coronation ceremony in 1837 had contained little historical pageantry. To compensate for this restraint, and to help stimulate local trade, newly married, she hosted three ornate costume balls with Prince Albert. Having chosen a fourteenth-century theme for the initial event, held in May 1842, they appeared as Queen Philippa of Hainault and Edward III. Lithographs such as this one publicised how the Queen looked on the night, wearing a costume modelled for accuracy on the tomb effigies of her predecessors, but clearly modified to accommodate Victorian corsetry.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1842back to top

Current affairs

Edwin Chadwick publishes his damning report, Sanitary Conditions of the Labouring Poor, which details the shocking living conditions of the urban poor and prompts government to take a new interest in public health issues. A year-long depression and the rejection of the Chartist petition leads to riots, with workers striking in the Midlands, Lancashire, Yorkshire, and parts of Scotland.

Art and science

Mudie's Lending Library opens, becoming one of the largest circulating libraries in the period. Made popular by the otherwise high cost of books, it exerts a great influence over literature; both by maintaining the more costly 'three decker' novel structure, and acting as moral censor. Richard Owen, the English biologist, comparative anatomist and palaeontologist, coins the term 'dinosaur', combining the Greek words for 'formidable' and 'reptile'.

International

Treaty of Nanjing, which allows China to trade with Britain and lends Hong Kong to the British crown for 150 years. In Afghanistan, the Anglo-Afghan war ends as the British abandon Kabul, withdrawing to India and losing most of their garrison force in the operation with only one member, Dr William Brydon, surviving.

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