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Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, by Sir David Wilkie, circa 1840 -NPG 1297 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Early Victorian Portraits Catalogue

Queen Victoria

by Sir David Wilkie
circa 1840
9 1/8 in. x 6 in. (232 mm x 152 mm)
NPG 1297

This portraitback to top

This is a study for Wilkie's state portrait of 1840 in the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight, from the collection of the Marquess of Normanby. [1] Queen Victoria disliked the large portrait intensely and refused to accept it for the Royal Collection. [2] A related oil sketch was sold Christie's, 2 May 1952 (lot 184), and three drawings, one dated 15 October 1838, were sold at Sotheby's, 12 February 1964 (lot 117). On the back of the original card, on which the NPG water-colour is mounted, is a cutting from a bookseller's catalogue where the name of Dr Laing is given as a previous owner.

Footnotesback to top

1) This was offered to the NPG in 1899, but declined on the advice of the Queen.
2) See A. Cunningham, Life of Sir David Wilkie (1843), 111, 531, where payment of £200 by the Lord Chamberlain is recorded under 1840.

Physical descriptionback to top

Dressed in a red robe, red curtain at right. Blue sky. Grey and brown washes for architecture, with touches of orange on floor.

Provenanceback to top

Dr David Laing; Lord Ronald Gower, presented by him, 1901.


This extended catalogue entry is from the out-of-print National Portrait Gallery collection catalogue: Richard Ormond, Early Victorian Portraits, Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1973, and is as published then. For the most up-to-date details on individual Collection works, we recommend reading the information provided in the Search the Collection results on this website in parallel with this text.

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