Portrait of Queen Adelaide (1849) by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

January 11, 2012 § 6 Comments

Review of F.X. Winterhalter’s portrait of Queen Adelaide (1849, oil on canvas, HM Queen Elizabeth II, cat nos 357 & 358), in Caledonian Mercury, 4 March 1850:

“It is not generally known, that her late Majesty the Queen Dowager sat to Winterhalter for her portrait within a very short period of her demise; indeed, the last sitting took place within a month of her death. The portrait was painted expressly for her late Majesty’s brother, the Duke of Saxe-Meiningen, and is a fine specimen of Winterhalter’s talent.

“It represents the Queen Dowager in a sitting posture, and admirably reserves the features of the lamented deceased. There is nothing painful in the expression, as might be apprehended by those unacquainted with the Christian calmness and humility with which her late Majesty contemplated her approaching dissolution almost up to the moment when this world closed upon her, and the picture is altogether a highly interesting work of art.

“Three copies have been made by Mr. W. Corden, of Old Windsor, respectively for her Majesty the Queen, her Royal Highness the Duchess of Kent, and his Serene Highness Prince Edward of Saxe-Weimar; in addition to which Mr Lane has made a very beautiful lithographic drawing of the portrait for private distribution. The original picture is already on its way to Germany.”

[© “Portrait of the Queen Dowager”, Caledonian Mercury, 4 March 1850]

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§ 6 Responses to Portrait of Queen Adelaide (1849) by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

  • Tricia Richardson says:

    I have been left a large lithograph of Queen Adelaide in a frame with a crown on top. It was left to a relative in a will and I would love to know more about it.

    • artsdiary365 says:

      Hi Tricia,

      The lithograph in your collection is after Winterhalter’s original portrait of Queen Adelaide, of 1849, in the British Royal Collection. Another version of the portrait, also believed to be by Winterhalter, is in Schweinfurt, in Germany. Please see catalogue entries no 357 and 358 on the following web page: https://franzxaverwinterhalter.wordpress.com/franz-xaver-winterhalter-works-1846-1850/

      Thank you for your interest,
      Eugene B.v.R.

    • Charles S. Ward says:

      A relative of mine inherited a lithograph identical to the one you describe (elaborate burled frame with crown). I believe this is from the original “private” printing. It was given as a wedding present to an ancestor in 1866. I am trying to determine who that giver may have been. Family lore holds she had some association with the Queen. I have a picture of the image & frame.

      • artsdiary365 says:

        Thank you for your message – and how wonderful for you to have such an heirloom in your family! Queen Adelaide passed away in 1849, so it is unlikely she presented it to your ancestor. It is really impossible to say who may have been the original owner of the print in your collection but it easily could have been a member of Queen Adelaide’s household. If you have any correspondence or diaries of your ancestor, they might provide you with a further clue.

      • Charles S. Ward says:

        Thank you for your reply. Since my earlier post, I have narrowed the giver of the framed lithograph to someone in the Jesse Watts-Russell Family of Ilam Hall, Biggin Hall, & Eaton Square.

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