Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
- Extended Catalogue Entry
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
replica by Franz Xaver Winterhalter
oil on canvas, 1867, based on a work of 1859
95 in. x 61 3/4 in. (2413 mm x 1568 mm)
Given by Queen Victoria, 1867
Sitterback to top
- Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819-1861), Prince Consort of Queen Victoria. Sitter in 209 portraits, Artist associated with 2 portraits.
Artistback to top
- Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873), Painter. Artist associated with 68 portraits, Sitter in 3 portraits.
This portraitback to top
This replica was commissioned for the Gallery by the Queen, after discreet enquiries from the trustees who were anxious to represent Prince Albert in the collection.
Linked publicationsback to top
- I-Spy National Portrait Gallery, 2010, p. 37
- Smartify image discovery app
- Victorian Portraits Resource Pack, p. 18
- Cannadine, Sir David (Introduction); Cooper, Tarnya; Stewart, Louise; MacGibbon, Rab; Cox, Paul; Peltz, Lucy; Moorhouse, Paul; Broadley, Rosie; Jascot-Gill, Sabina, Tudors to Windsors: British Royal Portraits, 2018 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas, USA, 7 October 2018 -3 February 2019. Bendigo Art Gallery, Australia, 16 March - 14 July 2019.), p. 179 Read entry
This replica was commissioned by Queen Victoria and depicts Albert wearing the uniform of a colonel of the Rifle Brigade. On its presentation to the National Portrait Gallery by the queen, the portrait was accompnied by a letter stating that its accuracy had given her 'much satisfaction'.
- Funnell, Peter, Victorian Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1996, p. 18
- Funnell, Peter (introduction); Marsh, Jan, A Guide to Victorian and Edwardian Portraits, 2011, p. 51 Read entry
The second son of Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819-61) married his cousin, Queen Victoria, in 1840 and played an influential role in British public life. Noted as a patron of the arts, Prince Albert was largely responsible for the Great Exhibition of 1851. The original version of this portrait, showing Prince Albert wearing the Star of the Garter and the uniform of the Rifle Brigade, was one of the last portraits to be painted of him before his premature death from typhoid in 1861. This autograph replica was commissioned for the National Portrait Gallery by Queen Victoria.
- Ormond, Richard, Early Victorian Portraits, 1973, p. 8
- Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 7
- Various contributors, National Portrait Gallery: A Portrait of Britain, 2014, p. 146 Read entry
The second son of Ernest, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Albert married his cousin, Queen Victoria, in 1840, shortly after her accession to the throne. He came to play an influential role in British public life, was a notable patron of the arts, and an enthusiastic supporter of technological developments and agricultural reform. He was largely responsible for the Great Exhibition of 1851. Victoria and Albert enjoyed a close relationship and she was devastated by his early death in 1861.
The German artist Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805–73) first came to the British court in 1842, thereafter making trips to England every summer or autumn for six or seven weeks, painting portraits at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. Between then and 1871 he painted more than 100 works in oil for Victoria and Albert, of them and their growing family. His elegant and cosmopolitan style, which could also convey the affectionate informality of the royal family, was admired by them to the exclusion of native artists. This work is a replica by Winterhalter himself of the fourth and last portrait that he painted of Albert in 1859. It was commissioned by Queen Victoria after discreet enquiries from the Gallery, and was presented by her in 1867.
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1859back to top
Current affairsFormation of the first Liberal cabinet, following the dissolution of Parliament in light of the Liberal and opposition member Lord Russell's introduction of a resolution arguing for widening the franchise, carried because the Conservatives, the ruling party, only have a minority. Palmerston holds a meeting of Whigs, Peelites and Radicals, from which the Liberal Party is formed, and the Queen later invites him to become Prime Minister.
Art and scienceCharles Darwin's The Origin of the Species is published, in which he sets out his theory of evolution based on the process of natural selection, species mutation, and survival of the fittest.
The engineer Joseph Bazalgette begins work on constructing the London sewerage system, following the 'Big Stink' of the preceding summer. Bazalgette's system, now extended, continues to serve London.
InternationalOutbreak of war between an alliance of France and Italian nationalists, and Austria. Napoleon III signs an armistice with Austria. However, pressure from Britain, supporting Italian unification to counterweight French and Austrian influence, leads to success for Italian nationalists.
The first oil well is drilled in America, after Edwin Drake's discovery in Titusville, Pennsylvania, transforming a quiet farming region into Oil Creek.
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