In 1877 an engaging portrait drawing of a child by William Dyce (fig. 1) was given to the National Gallery of Victoria by a little-known collector, Duncan Elphinstone Cooper.1For their generous assistance and support I wish to thank Carly Collier, Cathy Leahy, Kate Nichols, Louise Wilson, Alison Inglis, Ted Gott, Irena Zdanowicz, Gerard Hayes, Julius Bryant, Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, Julia Jackson, Juliette Peers, Luke Doyle, Matthew Martin, Maggie Finch and Barbara Bryant. The subject was the Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII, known as Bertie, who addresses us in this work with confidence and barely suppressed good humour. The work is recorded in the Illustrated Catalogue of the National Gallery [of Victoria] from 1879 to 1918 and during the years of Edward VII’s reign is featured in an oval design as originally intended.2It is recorded under ‘Crayon and sepia drawings’ in the Catalogue of the Oil Paintings, Water-Colour Drawings, Engravings, Lithographs, Photographs, &c in the National Gallery of Victoria, Fergusson and Moore, Melbourne, 1879, p. 44, and as being on display in the Buvelot Gallery in the Illustrated Catalogue of the National Gallery, Fergusson and Mitchell, Melbourne, 1894, p. 104. From 1905 to 1908 the portrait is illustrated in the catalogues. After Edward VII’s death in 1910 the work is included in the catalogues from 1911 to 1918 but not illustrated. In catalogues for 1921 and 1923 it is referred to as part of a collection of drawings on display in the Buvelot Gallery. This almost life-size drawing, while captivating in itself, reveals much about the compelling cultural missions driving its artist, patrons and owner, and the powerful roles played by portraits in their lives. In particular, Dyce’s portrait brings attention to the question of ‘likeness’ in works commissioned by Queen Victoria and the challenge of combining this with the artist’s own aesthetic commitments and artistic vision.

William Dyce and Prince Albert: learning and experimentation 

The artist William Dyce, born in 1806 in Aberdeen, Scotland and trained in both medicine and the church, pursued an unusually wide range of intellectual concerns, including music, science and theology. He was committed to promoting the civic and ethical role of the arts and design.3Tim Barringer has described him as ‘one of the great polymaths of early Victorian England’. See Tim Barringer, ‘Dyce, William (1806–1864)’, 2004, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/8343>, accessed 29 June 2018. Through the revival of earlier artistic forms such as fresco, silverpoint, ornament and architecture, he sought to recapture the spiritual intensity and demanding techniques of Italian Renaissance art.4While travelling in Italy in the 1820s, he was influenced by the similarly motivated group of expatriate German artists known as the Nazarenes. See Cordula Grewe, The Nazarenes: Romantic Avant-Garde and the Art of the Concept, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA, 2015.

The NGV portrait was created at a time when Dyce was exploring metalpoint drawing,5Other metalpoint drawings by Dyce, dated between 1845 and 1848, are in the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum, Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery. See Marcia Pointon, William Dyce, 1806–1864: A Critical Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979, pp. 206–8. a demanding technique that was important to the linear precision of works by Raphael, Leonardo and northern artists such as Albrecht Dürer. Dyce is now recognised as ‘the first British artist to participate in the revival’ of metalpoint in the nineteenth century;6Stacey Sell & Hugo Chapman (eds), Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2015, p. 191. See also Stacey Sell, ‘“The interesting and difficult medium”: the silverpoint revival in nineteenth-century Britain’, Master Drawings, vol. 51, no. 1, Spring, 2013, pp. 65–6, 81nn10–11, and Susan Owens, ‘“A dose of paradise”: some effects of Renaissance drawings on Victorian artists’, in Diana Dethloff et al., Burning Bright: Essays in Honour of David Bindman, UCL Press, London, 2015, pp. 180–9.the medium would later attract pre-Raphaelites such as William Holman Hunt and other influential artists such as the Slade professor Alphonse Legros.7Dyce played a key role in the success of the pre-Raphaelites by encouraging Ruskin’s attention to Millais’ work in the Royal Academy exhibition, as related in a letter of 28 December, 1882: ‘My real introduction to the whole school was by Mr. Dyce, R.A., who dragged me, literally up to Millais’ picture of ‘The Carpenter’s Shop,’ which I had passed disdainfully, and forced me to look for its merits’. E. T. Cook & Alexander Wedderburn (eds), The Works of John Ruskin, vol. 37, George Allen, London, 1903–12, pp. 427–8. As with all his endeavours, Dyce acquired firsthand knowledge of the field, consulting Cennino Cennini’s newly translated treatise8For the first English translation of Cennini’s Il libro dell’arte in 1844, see Zahira Véliz Bomford, ‘The art of conservation XI. Mary Merrifield’s quest: a new methodology for technical art history’, The Burlington Magazine, no. CLIX, June 2014, pp. 465–75. and acquiring a fifteenth-century Italian silverpoint for his own collection, which is now in the British Museum.

The sculptural clarity of Dyce’s drawing style also refers directly to Renaissance precedents; for example, the use of rhythmic linear hatchings and cross-hatchings in Raphael’s silverpoint depiction of the Madonna and Child. In Dyce’s portrait of the Prince of Wales these elements are modulated by white and pale red chalk highlights on the lips and cheeks and subtle grey hatchings across the prepared paper background. This vivid combination of line and highlights is evident in drawings that are also derived from works by Raphael, such as Dyce’s silverpoint Madonna and Child, 1848 (Scottish National Gallery, Edinburgh).

Other drawings show his concern to recapture the well-rounded physiognomies of Quattrocento sculptors, as in his pencil copy of Luca della Robbia’s Madonna of the Apple, 1450–60 (Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence). The comely face of the Prince of Wales compares with that of della Robbia’s youthful Christ and even more closely with those of the joyful singers in the Cantoria friezes, 1431–38 (Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Florence).9Marcia Pointon extends her analysis of della Robbia’s influence to Dyce’s Madonna and Child, c. 1828, see Pointon p. 37 and fig. 101, and later to his youthful choristers in the fresco Hospitality: the admission of Sir Tristram to the fellowship of the Round Table, 1864; ibid. p. 177 and fig. 163. Dyce’s affinity with this sculptor reflects again the way he anticipated, and to some extent laid the ground, for future aesthetic enthusiasms. Luca della Robbia would become one of the most revered early Renaissance artists by the end of the century, in part due to the comprehensive collection of his work at the South Kensington Museum.10By 1902, Maud Cruttwell could write that he stamped his works with ‘the mark of a vigorous and creative genius, by which he takes rank among the great artists of the world’, Maud Cruttwell, Luca and Andrea della Robbia and their Successors, J. M. Dent, London, 1902, p. 4. See John Pope-Hennessy, Luca della Robbia, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1980, and Charlotte Drew, ‘Luca della Robbia: South Kensington and the Victorian revival of a Florentine sculptor’, Sculpture Journal, vol. 23, no. 2, 2014, pp. 171–83.

Dyce’s missionary purpose, his pedagogical interest in art and design, and his equal commitment to music and Christian ritual ensured his friendship with the educated, high-minded Prince Albert.11Prince Albert and the artist shared an interest in early music; the prince was appointed a director of the Concerts of Ancient Music in 1840 and Dyce founded the Motett Society in 1844. As devoted to Raphael as Dyce was, he started collecting early Italian art in 1845.12Susanna Avery-Quash, ‘“Incessant personal exertions and comprehensive artistic knowledge”: Prince Albert’s interest in early Italian art’, in Avery-Quash (ed.), Essays From a Study Day Held at the National Gallery, London on 5 and 6 June 2010, Royal Collection Trust, London, 2010, p. 5, <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/sites/default/files/V%20and%20A%20Art%20and%20Love%20%28Avery-Quash%29.pdf>, accessed 2 July 2018. He established the Print Room at Windsor Castle and set about compiling a systematic catalogue of works by or attributed to Raphael, starting with the remarkable collection of drawings in the Royal Library.13Jonathan Marsden (ed.), Victoria & Albert: Art & Love, Royal Collection Publications, London, 2010, p. 31. Albert owned a porcelain copy of his ‘favourite’ old master, Raphael’s Virgin and Child, known as The Colonna Madonna (Gemaldegalerie, Berlin, 1508).14Artist unknown, The Virgin and Child (‘The Colonna Madonna’), 1848–58, enamel on porcelain, Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 404017. The Queen gave Prince Albert a copy by Robert Thorburn of Raphael’s Madonna della Sedia, 1514 (Palazzo Pitti, Florence).15Delia Millar, The Victorian Watercolours and Drawings in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, vol. II, Philip Wilson, London, 1995, p. 887. While both Albert and Victoria aspired to own originals, they also valued copies highly, especially if the initial image was important enough. In 1845 Albert purchased Dyce’s Madonna and Child, 1845 (Royal Collection) (fig. 2), which provided the ideal solution – an original work by an artist who was painting in an intensely Raphael-esque style. Between 1845 and 1851 he built Osborne House on the Isle of Wight as a summer retreat, designing it himself in the mode of an Italian Renaissance villa. Dyce’s Madonna and Child was hung in the Queen’s bedroom at Osborne House, much to her delight. She described the painting as ‘quite like an old master, & in the style of Raphael – so chaste & exquisitely painted’.16Queen Victoria, journal, 9 Aug. 1845. See Marsden, p. 111. The following year Albert commissioned Dyce to paint a companion picture, St Joseph, 1846 (Royal Collection).

Dyce also enjoyed Albert’s patronage for more public commissions. To oversee the new interior decoration of the Houses of Parliament after the 1837 fire, the Royal Fine Art Commission was established in 1841, with Prince Albert as chairman and Charles Eastlake as secretary. Keen to establish a national school of British history painting, proposals were sought in the unusual and, as it proved to be, difficult, medium of fresco. After spending the winter of 1845–46 in Italy, Dyce wrote a ten-page account, ‘Observations on fresco painting’ as an appendix to The Sixth Report of the Commission on the Fine Arts (1846), and was awarded the first commission for mural painting, beginning work in 1848.17See Clare A. P. Willsdon, Mural Painting in Britain 1840–1940, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, pp. 47–50. Meanwhile, Prince Albert had already commissioned him to paint a fresco for the staircase at Osborne House, Neptune resigning the empire of the seas to Britannia, which was completed in 1847.

Dyce’s portrait drawing of the Prince of Wales, then, reflects a historical moment when both artist and patron were working together with new techniques, and when educational institutions were being founded that widened the scope of art collected, along with that of the public that participated in its appreciation. The practice and application of drawing was central here. Having overseen the School of Design in Edinburgh, Dyce was invited to London as superintendent of the newly established Government School of Design, later to become the Royal College of Art. Before taking up this post in 1838 he visited France and Germany to prepare a report on current design education. Dyce wrote The Drawing Book of the Government School of Design (incorporating his ‘Elementary outlines of ornament’), which was first printed for students in 1842 and generally available from 1854. It included freehand exercises in basic geometrical principles and the study of Greek ornamental shapes, working from drawings and casts. Dyce extended his mission to primary reform of aesthetics by designing the Honiton lace for Queen Victoria’s wedding dress, an inspired initiative that proved a boost to Devon lace-making.18Kay Staniland, In Royal Fashion. The Clothes of Princess Charlotte of Wales and Queen Victoria 1796–1901, Museum of London, London, 1997, p. 120. Both his desire to model drawing on principles that could be taught across a range of design functions and his strong reliance on Classical precedents lie behind the spare, clarified style of his drawings for Queen Victoria.

Queen Victoria: the question of ‘likeness’ 

Victoria and Albert’s commissioning of such works and encouragement of artistic training was not only a public duty but also a personal pleasure; works of art were exchanged by the royal couple as birthday and Christmas presents throughout their married life. Portraits, in particular, played a dynamic role in promoting the royal couple’s self-image and that of their children, relations, dogs, horses and household. Their personal tastes were paramount, leading, for example, to the direct adoption of sacred Italianate models of the Madonna and Child for portraits of Queen Victoria and her family.19See commissions such as Robert Thorburn’s Portrait of Queen Victoria with Prince Alfred and Princess Helena, 1847, watercolour, Royal Collection.

Yet such idealistic interpretations did not always combine well with Victoria’s even stronger preoccupation with ‘likeness’, a dichotomy that was evident in her first responses to Dyce’s portrait of Bertie. The drawing has a startling directness of gaze and precision of line that demonstrates that it was drawn from life. The Queen herself recorded the sittings when this work was produced, along with those in which portraits of her other children were created. In her journal entry for Thursday 6 January 1848, written at Windsor Castle, she noted: ‘I went to see Affie, then Vicky, sitting to Mr Dyce’. Again on 7, 8, 18 and 20 January she comments on staying with the children while they are sitting for Dyce and goes back to look at the sketches. On Monday 24 January she noted: ‘We also saw Dyce finishing the sketch of Bertie, which is a beautiful drawing, though not an exact likeness’. On Thursday 3 February 1848 she reported: ‘Dyce has sent the finished drawings of the Children, framed, and they really are beautiful, even though not very individual likenesses’.20I am indebted to Carly Collier for these references to Queen Victoria’s journals.

The conditions for Queen Victoria’s judgement of ‘likeness’ were obviously highly subjective. In her view a happier confluence of the requirements of taste and likeness was achieved by the artist who would become her favourite, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, in his portrait Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, 1846 (Royal Collection Trust) (fig.3), painted just over a year before Dyce’s drawing. For Queen Victoria it was ‘more beautiful than I can describe, such an excellent likeness … and so wonderfully painted’.21Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992, vol. I, p. 307. Queen Victoria, journal, 8 Jan. 1848. The Prince is depicted in swagger pose, hands in pockets and with an expression of mature, knowing self-possession. His uniform identifies him as a future commander of the navy; behind, a grassy slope leads to a cliff view over the seas that he will later command.

By contrast, the idealisation evident in Dyce’s version is less about enhancing the attitude and status of the subject than the pursuit of a geometrically perfected physiognomic form that invokes Classical ideals. All three of the children in Dyce’s portraits have an angelic demeanour, with rounded faces and eyes, invoking Renaissance models of childhood as depicted by Raphael and Luca della Robbia.

The physiognomy of the Prince of Wales of Dyce’s depiction reappears in future works, such as in the Choristers, c .1856 (Aberdeen Art Gallery and Museums), a design for a stained-glass window in Ely Cathedral, Cambridgeshire, and his depiction of the artist as a boy in Titian preparing to make his first essay in colouring, 1856–57 (Aberdeen Art Gallery). His portraits of Victoria and Alice (fig. 4 and fig. 5) show them similarly idealised. Both are drawn with crisp contours and sculptural forms, softened with linear hatchings. While the portrayal of Alice is quite distinctive, the perfection of Victoria’s Madonna-like face contrasts with the more characteristic portrait features of Winterhalter’s version, painted three years later in 1851.

The Queen came to her unwavering enthusiasm for Winterhalter after a series of failures of other commissioned artists to deliver acceptable resemblances. David Wilkie’s depiction of her was condemned by the critics as ‘execrable’22Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, ‘Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805–1873): Portraiture in the Age of Social Change’, PhD dissertation, University of Melbourne, 2016, p. 97. and she considered the portrait of her by Martin Archer Shee to be ‘monstrous’.23Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. xvii, Queen Victoria, journal, 31 Oct. 1842. Wilkie’s Queen Victoria’s Accession Council, 1837, she thought ‘one of the worst pictures I have ever seen both as to painting and likenesses’.24Queen Victoria, journal, 12 Nov. 1847. See Vanessa Remington, ‘Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their relations with artists’, in Avery-Quash, p. 2, <https://www.rct.uk/sites/default/files/VA%20Art%20and%20Love%20%28Remington%29.pdf>, accessed 26 Oct. 2018. Of Edwin Landseer’s Queen Victoria landing at Loch Muick, 1850 (Royal Collection Trust), Victoria’s journal entry of 5 April 1854 states that she had sat once more for the picture ‘which is very good, fine and all finished, but our likenesses are not good’.25Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. 146. Landseer experienced difficulties in realising the likenesses in the painting from the very beginning and even when Franz Xaver Winterhalter was brought in to advise him on correcting the Queen’s features, he seemed unable to achieve a likeness that would satisfy the Queen. ibid. Even the highly favoured miniaturist William Ross, renowned for his ‘very sharp and correct eye’,26This assessment was made by Queen Louise of Belgium in 1839; see Delia Millar, p. 750. produced a sketch of Prince Albert that the Queen thought ‘unfortunately a great failure’.27ibid. Queen Victoria, journal, 24 Dec. 1842.

As Jonathan Marsden comments, the problem of reconciling the demands of likeness versus quality remained a common thread in Victoria and Albert’s responses to art. Even Victoria, Princess Royal, when later assessing two portrait busts of her father, wrote that the former was ‘a better work of art’ but the latter ‘much more like’,28Marsden, p. 30. while the Queen had earlier contrasted illustrations by two artists for German epic poem the ‘Niebelungenlied’, concluding that ‘the former depict the story the best, although the others are the finest as Drawings’.29ibid. Queen Victoria, journal, 29 July 1842. But when it came to Winterhalter’s half-length portrait of herself in a white ball gown, she wrote: ‘The likeness is perfect and the picture very fine’.30Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. 286. Queen Victoria, journal, 25 June 1842. George Hayter, then occupying the post of the Queen’s Principal Painter in Ordinary, grudgingly conceded that the portrait was ‘exceedingly like’. ibid. Besides her joy in the portrayal of the nautically dressed Prince of Wales, she approved all his portraits of her children, enthusing that: ‘Winterhalter has made, in only two sittings, the most spirited & beautiful likeness of [the Prince of Wales] imaginable’, and that ‘Bertie & little Alfred [later Duke of Edinburgh] are giving sittings & are already very like’.31Queen Victoria, journal, 24 Aug. 1843. See Barilo von Reisberg, p. 121. The latter comment was with regard to the Reception of Louis Philippe, King of the French, at Windsor Castle, 8 October 1844, 1844–45, Musée National du Château de Versailles.

The question of likeness was crucial partly because it was entangled with sensitive estimations of character as well as intellectual and physical capacity. While the court painter George Hayter praised the Prince’s ‘fine’ appearance, the Queen found Hayter’s drawing of him as a baby ‘too intellectual’, while Albert thought ‘he looked a little too old and his features too developed’.32Delia Millar, p. 454. Albert went on to lavishly praise the work. Queen Victoria was always very observant of physical characteristics and ready to make critical comment, describing Bertie in an 1858 letter to Vicky: ‘Handsome I cannot think him, with … those immense features and total lack of chin’, while the next year she thought him ‘improved’. Delia Millar, p. 731. In 1844 she had written: ‘Bertie so nice in his … black velvet breeches. He is so nicely made and has such good little legs’. ibid. p. 752. There was a deference to physiognomic measurement: Hayter recorded the precise measurements of the Prince’s face as well as those of Prince Albert’s face and Victoria’s ‘person’. His notes on this were made public in an edition of The Strand Magazine in 1897.33William G. Fitzgerald, ‘Personal relics of the Queen and her children’, The Strand Magazine, vol. XIII, no. 78, June 1897, pp. 612, 620, 626. These attempts at precise renderings acquired further significance by the application of phrenology, the pseudoscience of interpreting character through the forms of face and skull, which continued to be revived throughout the nineteenth century. Prince Albert was directly influenced by George Combe, who led the phrenological movement in Britain, and invited him to ’read’ the heads of his children. Indeed, Combe reinforced the pre-existing view that the Prince of Wales was rather backward and unruly when he declared that his ‘anterior lobe devoted to intellect, was deficient in size’,34Jane Ridley, Bertie: A Life of Edward VII, Chatto & Windus, London, 2012, pp. 23, 500 n57. an assessment soon forgotten as his significant social skills became apparent. Contributing to this heightened sensitivity to appearances, too, was the rapid rise of photography, an enthusiasm to which both Victoria and Albert contributed when they publicly announced their patronage of the Photographic Society of London.35See Anne M. Lyden et al., Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2014. They collected some of the earliest examples and ensured that photography was included in the Great Exhibition in 1851. See Marsden, pp. 397–9. Yet, as with painted and drawn portraits, the results were critically assessed. Responding to an early photograph taken in 1852, now in the Royal Collection, Victoria approved the depiction of her children, but found that her own likeness was so ‘horrid’ that she scratched out her face on the negative (fig. 6).36Marsden, Queen Victoria, journal, 17 Jan. 1852, p. 402.

The Queen’s preoccupation with ‘likeness’ was not only a matter of confirming her own taste but also her personal involvement in artistic practice. She knew the difficulty in attempting a likeness, having drawn and painted since she was a child. Her first lesson from drawing master Richard Westall took place at Kensington Palace when she was eight years old, continued on a weekly basis until his death in 183637The demanding range of these lessons is evident in the two bound volumes of sketches inscribed ‘Westall’s Sketches … intended as Studies for the instruction of Her Majesty/by whom they have all / been copied’. See Delia Millar, p. 921. William Leighton Leitch took over as the Queen’s drawing master in 1846. and is depicted in Westall’s portrait of her, aged eleven, sketching outdoors from nature (fig. 7). Victoria drew and etched numerous intimate portraits of Albert, her children and pets with keen observational vivacity, such as the 1848 portrait of Prince Alfred in the NGV Collection, a reprise of Winterhalter’s beloved portrait of the Prince of Wales.38See Queen Victoria, Prince Alfred, 1848, etching and drypoint on chine collé, 20.4 x 12.2 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, accession no. p.192.4-1.

Beyond recording a likeness, portraits of the children were crucial to the recognition, veneration and accessibility of the royal family. According to Queen Victoria’s journal the NGV portrait drawing belongs to a series of four, and was one of several such groups of multiple portraits that were commissioned by Victoria and Albert in portrait galleries scaled from miniature to grand salon. Thoughtfully integrated into interior designs and supervised by Albert, these schemes reached a remarkable complexity in the Queen’s Audience Room at Windsor (fig. 8), and were intended to create a microcosm of history through dynastic portraits.39The Queen’s Audience Room was reserved for the most important guests and was where Victoria and Albert spent the first night after their marriage. The prince’s coffin was placed there on the night before his funeral. Marsden, p. 201. Queen Victoria was equally assiduous in her efforts to substantiate connections with the past and the future, installing, in 1838, fifteen oval portraits of George III and his family by Thomas Gainsborough in this one room, along with seventeen framed panels mounted with over 200 enamel portrait miniatures, creating a visual panorama of royal generations to surround all visitors.40Above, an ornate plaster ceiling cove is embellished with portrait bust reliefs of English monarchs from William the Conqueror to Queen Victoria. See Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, vol. 1, Phaidon, London, 1969, pp. xli, 36–7. For John Thomas’s watercolour Windsor Castle: realized design for the Queen’s Audience Room, 1861, see Marsden, p. 201. The Gainsborough oval portraits, including, for example, the 1782 portrait of Princess Sophia (fig. 9), were effectively ‘the prototype for sets of oil portraits of royal children’,41Royal Collection Trust, ‘Sir William Ross (1794–1860) Victoria, Princess Royal (1840–1901), 1845’, Royal Collection Trust, <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/420340/victoria-princess-royal-1840-1901>, accessed 3 July 2018. and set a persuasive example leading to Queen Victoria’s numerous commissions for small oval or circular–form portraits of her children and grandchildren.42See discussion in Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. xxviii.

Another important example comparable with Dyce’s drawings is the set of circular miniatures by William Ross painted between 1845 and 1857, when each child was about five years old (figs 10-13).43Royal Collection, RCIN 420336-420343. This kind of commission may have been also inspired by the idea suggested to Victoria and Albert by the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (stepmother to Prince Albert’s mother) in a letter of 25 December 1843: ‘You should have a portrait of each of your children painted every year. That would make a very interesting gallery’. See <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/420340/victoria-princess-royal-1840-1901>, accessed 3 July 2018. Many copies of Ross’s watercolours were made, often for the Queen to give away as presents. Other copies, including nine portraits of the children in the form of round porcelain plaques by Carl Schmidt of Bamberg, were incorporated into furniture such as an elegant bonheur du jour (lady’s writing desk) from 1871 commissioned for Osborne House.44Holland & Sons, Bonheur-du-jour, 1871, Royal Collection, RCIN 41237. See Marsden, p. 265. See also the Gold bracelet, 1845, Royal Collection, RCIN 4797, set with copies of Ross’s portrait miniatures of the children, attributed to Guglielmo Faija. See Marsden, p. 340. Ross’s and Dyce’s series were followed by the suite of life-size circular oil portraits of the children painted between 1849 and 1859 by Winterhalter. These were displayed, framed as roundels, in a number of locations45Including, after the Second World War, in the Queen’s Audience Room, where they were set into the frames that had originally contained Gainsborough’s oval portraits of the family of George III. See Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. 305. and copied repeatedly as framed portraits, prints or as miniatures to be included in decorative schemes for interiors, jewellery and other ornaments.

The role of these portraits as models for numerous copies explains in part why likeness was so important in the original, as a way of ensuring that resemblance would be maintained in later versions. At the core of the commissioning, collecting, copying and gifting of portraits was the mission to ensure the continued living memory of a person with visual reminders of their bodily presence in everyday life.46Perhaps the most dramatic examples are the relic-like portraits of the hands and feet of the Queen’s children sculpted in marble by Mary Thornycroft and displayed on crimson velvet pillows. Marsden, p. 76.

Four portraits and their history

The locations of three of Dyce’s four portrait drawings are known. While the portrait of Prince Alfred is currently untraced, those depicting the two eldest daughters, Victoria, the Princess Royal, and Princess Alice, are in the Royal Collection at Windsor. These were both previously attributed to George Housman Thomas (1824–1868), following an annotation in the inventory of pictures at Windsor Castle begun in the 1860s. However, Delia Millar noted in her catalogue, published in 1995, that they were ‘stylistically unlike other known work by Thomas’.47‘In the Windsor Inv. cat. nos 5569–70 are provisionally attributed to George Thomas and stated to have been bequeathed to the Queen by the Duchess of Kent in 1861’; see Delia Millar, vol. II, p. 885. Writing in 1979, Marcia Pointon notes that, while Dyce was living at Osborne he ‘found time to execute pastel drawings of the four royal children; only the study of the Prince of Wales … has survived’; see Pointon, p. 95. The secure provenance of the NGV portrait has enabled these works to be reattributed to Dyce.48These two works, reattributed to Dyce, were included in the exhibition at Scotland National Gallery, and Queen’s Gallery at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, titled Scottish Artists 1750–1900: From Caledonia to the Continent, 6 August 2015 – 7 February 2016, curated by Deborah Clarke and Vanessa Remington. Given Queen Victoria’s journal entries, it would normally be assumed that the drawings went directly into her collection, yet they all emerged as lots 55–58 in the posthumous auction sale of Dyce’s studio in Christie’s Masons Rooms on 5 May 1865. Dyce had died aged 58 on 14 February 1864, having collapsed while working on the frescoes for the Queen’s Robing Room. An annotated copy of the studio sale catalogue records ‘Lot 55 Portrait of HRH The Prince of Wales When A Child-in chalks, in gilt frame, with cardboard mounts, Lot 56 HRH The Princess Royal-framed to match, Lot 57 HRH The Princess Alice – ditto, and Lot 58 HRH The Prince Alfred-ditto’. Next to lots 55 and 58 are the agents’ names, ‘Money’ and ‘White’ respectively, the former presumably acting for Duncan E. Cooper.49Catalogue of the Whole of the Remaining Works in Oil, Drawings in Watercolour and Pencil, and Studies, of That Distinguished Artist William Dyce, R. A., Christie’s, London, 5 May 1865, National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London. I am most grateful to Carly Collier for this source. Lots 56 and 57 are bracketed with the name of the agent Colnaghi, from whom the Queen bought them as ‘two drawings by William Dyce RA Portraits of HRH the Princess Royal and HRH the Princess Alice’ on 18 May 1865.50See Royal Collection Trust, ‘William Dyce (1806–64) Princess Victoria 1848’, Royal Collection Trust, <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/917908-a>, accessed 3 July 2018. The receipt for Queen Victoria’s payment to Colnaghi is in the Royal Archives, RA PPTO/PP/QV/PP2/94/9024.

Despite being securely dated and attributed, the early provenance of these works then presents several challenges. The entry for the Royal Collection comments: ‘Why the Queen apparently rejected the four works in 1848 only to acquire two of them almost twenty years later is puzzling’.51Royal Collection Trust, <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/917908-a>, accessed 3 July 2018. The simplest version of their early history is that the drawings were all kept by Dyce, awaiting either approval, formal acceptance or a payment that was not forthcoming, even though this appears to be belied by the journal entry that acknowledges their arrival as framed works. Certainly, the Queen twice expressed reservations: that the portraits were ‘not very individual likenesses’ and that Bertie’s was ‘not an exact likeness’. Yet this was, as we have seen, a criticism she expressed in relation to many commissioned works which entered the collection, hence it was not a necessary condition for their rejection, although it does allow for that possibility. Alternatively, the drawings may have been acquired by Victoria’s mother, the Duchess of Kent, as recorded in the inventory noted above, and returned to Dyce on her death in 1861 rather than bequeathed to the Queen, who found them inadequate as likenesses. Lastly, it is possible that they were indeed kept by Queen Victoria and, when Dyce died after working so long on the frescoes, she donated the drawings to his wife to be auctioned as a way of raising funds for his family.52For more on the unusually informal and close personal relations that Victoria and Albert actively pursued with artists, see Remington in Avery-Quash, pp. 1–19. Oliver Millar writes that in her journal Victoria ‘described Winterhalter and Landseer as “our personal, attached friends of more than 30 years standing”’. Oliver Millar, p. xxvii.

The posthumous sale, in which only two of the four portraits were acquired, also remains problematic. While the purchase of portraits of the daughters and not of the sons may again express the Queen’s lack of enthusiasm for their likenesses, it might instead have been an expression of continued tensions between her and Bertie, who she blamed for Albert’s death; therefore, it was more tactful to purchase the two girls and pass over both boys together. Lastly, the Queen may simply have been outbid at auction; she was always frugal and may have set her price too low, as other instances of failed acquisitions testify.53For example, Delia Millar writes that ‘At the sale of the contents of Landseer’s studio at Christie’s in May 1874 the Queen’s attempts to buy were frustrated by the very high prices, although she acquired a few items’. Delia Millar, vol. I, p. 518. See also Vanessa Remington’s discussion and her view that ‘Queen Victoria was always very cautious about the payment of artists’, Remington in Avery-Quash, p. 15.

Whether Victoria and Albert acquired them when first delivered or not, Dyce’s drawings were intended as a suite of portraits, in a medium sanctioned by revered past masters that would serve as an ideal template and memorial for their lives. It is most likely that Dyce’s drawings of the four children, while valued in themselves, were intended for incorporation in interior design; for copying as gifts to relatives; as miniatures; or as features in decorative schemes in jewellery, furniture or interiors. Although the sittings were at Westminster, the destination for the works may well have been Osborne House, where the Queen enjoyed the strongest sense of familial intimacy.54Avery-Quash in Avery-Quash, p. 10.

Duncan Elphinstone Cooper: grazier, artist, collector and patron

Dyce’s drawing of the Prince of Wales had no such destiny and, remarkably, there are no known copies. Instead, as early as 1877, this drawing came on board the ship Hydaspes55Public Records Office of Victoria, PROV 4363/P/unit 8. to Melbourne, Australia, where its role as a symbolic embodiment of the future king was intensified. The successful bidder for the Prince of Wales’s portrait at a Christie’s auction in 1865 was Duncan Elphinstone Cooper, who gave the portrait to the NGV in 1877. In his letter to the Trustees of the NGV written on August 15, 1877 at the Oriental Club, London, Cooper described how he ‘purchased it at the sale (at Messers. Christies & Co’s) of the remaining works and studies of William Dyce RA as and for a genuine portrait for HRH taken at the Age of about six years, being the original study for the drawing done for Her Majesty the Queen’.56Public Records Office of Victoria, VPRS 4363/P000/unit 11, letter no. 296. I wish to thank Kate Nichols for her assistance in locating this letter. Inscribed on the fabric lining of the drawing is ‘Original study of / Portrait of HRH Prince of Wales (K. Edward) / by William Dyce R.A / bought by D.E. Cooper / at Christie’s Masons Rooms 1865 / As per letter of London / Aug 5 1877’. Cooper entrusted the portrait to Sir Archibald Michie, who was agent-general in London for Victoria, who sent it on, informing the Trustees of the NGV in a letter of 31 August 1877: ‘I have of course already acknowledged with thanks the receipt of Mr. Cooper’s interesting present’.57ibid. He added that Dyce is ‘one of our most celebrated Painters, and … selected among other eminent artists to execute fresco works in the Houses of Parliament’.58ibid.

Duncan E. Cooper was the son of Major-General George Cooper of the Bengal Army and his wife Jane, nee Munn of Little Chart, Kent. In 1841 he travelled to Australia and, with business partners George and Harry Thompson, took up the Challicum pastoral run in the Western District of Victoria, where they successfully bred pure merino sheep. Cooper led an active social life, played first-class cricket for Victoria59Cooper made a single first-class appearance for the Australian cricket team, during the 1850–51 season against Tasmania. ESPN Cricinfo, ‘Duncan Cooper’, ESPN Cricinfo, <http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/4773.html>, accessed 3 July 2018. and was an enthusiastic amateur watercolour artist. His sketchbook Collection of Drawings Made at Challicum, now in the National Library of Australia, contains thirty-six watercolours documenting life on the land. A friend, Kate Simson, gave some indication of his educated and modest personality when she wrote about her ‘visit to Challicum’ where ‘Cooper’s hospitalities quite delighted us all. He is an Encyclopedia to me: when I wish to know the derivation of a word I appeal to Cooper… He is a Prince. I wish in return I could give him confidence, or self-esteem, or something of that sort’.60Philip L. Brown, The Challicum Sketchbook 1842–53 and Supplementary Paintings by Duncan Elphinstone Cooper, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 1987, p. 14. See also Stephanie Owen Reeder, The Vision Splendid, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2011, pp. 66–73.

Cooper returned to England in 1854 but maintained a warm interest in Australia. In October 1862 the Reverend Robert Russell of Evandale, Tasmania, after visiting the Simsons61Cooper refers to his friend the Hon. Robert Simson in his letter to the NGV Trustees donating the portrait. in Scotland, wrote to his brother George Russell: ‘Your old friend Duncan Cooper was staying with them, as particular and fussy as ever’. Cooper went on painting watercolours of landscapes ‘painted from memory with the aid of photographs sent from Australia’.62Brown, p. 20. In about 1860 he contributed to a fund assisting the widow of a local Mount Mercer forest bullock-driver.63ibid. He also gave cultural gifts; in 1875 and 1882 he sent volumes of works illustrated by John and Thomas Bewick to the Melbourne Public Library, accompanied by a letter precisely detailing the contents.64See his letter to the Trustees of the Public Library, Melbourne, ibid. pp. 147–8. The Report of the Sectional Committee of the Public Library of 1875 records the desire ‘to specially express their gratitude to Mr Duncan Elphinstone Cooper’ and their intention for the volumes to be ‘placed upon a separate shelf in the library, under the title of the “Cooper Collection”’, ibid. p. 147. Yet, when he was sent the annual report of the Trustees, he took issue with the way the books from his first gift had been listed and in 1877 wrote to explain his views on their correct order, expressing the hope that they would not be ‘stolen or vandalized’. Duncan Elphinstone Cooper, letter to Trustees, 21 Aug. 1877, SLV Australian Manuscripts Collection, MS 13020. His gift of the portrait of the Prince of Wales was made in between these, in 1877.65In a list of donations, the minutes of the meeting of the Gallery Committee for 25 October 1877 includes a ‘portrait of the Prince of Wales’ without referring to Dyce or Cooper, although Cooper is named in the index pages. SLV Australian Manuscripts Collection, MS 12855, vol. 57, p. 276. I am grateful to Gerard Hayes for locating these references to documents in the SLV. On his death in London in 1904 he bequeathed his ‘Book of sketches by John Glover’ to the British Museum.66Brown, p. 21. Cooper died of bronchitis in 1904 at Paddington, London.

There was a lively cultural context for Cooper to give the portrait, twelve years after buying it at auction. The National Gallery of Victoria had been officially opened on 24 May 1861, Queen Victoria’s birthday. Other works representing the Queen or her family had been donated to or acquired by the Gallery, most notably Charles Summers’s portrait bust of Prince Alfred Duke of Edinburgh in 1873 (deaccessioned 1943), following his successful tour of Australia in 1867–68, and Summers’s monumental marble statues of Victoria and Albert and the Prince and Princess of Wales, devised around 1875 or 1876 and gifted in 1878 by William J. Clarke.67Gerard Vaughan, ‘The cult of the Queen empress: royal portraiture in colonial Victoria’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, vol. 50, 2011, p. 36. Dated 1876 and on public view in 1877 was Marshall Wood’s statue of Queen Victoria erected in the Melbourne Public Library, at that time housed in the same building as the NGV; ibid. Even the Italianate Government House, designed by William Wardell in 1871 and opened in 1876, was inspired by the Royal family’s Osborne House on the Isle of Wight.68Henry-Russell Hitchcock writes that it was ‘consciously modelled’ on Osborne House. See Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, The Pelican History of Art, Penguin Books Ltd, Harmondsworth, 1958, p. 171.

Queen Victoria herself provided the model for this culture of gift-giving, often in the form of portraits, through the mutual exchange of works of art between her and Albert, her presents to her immediate family and her presentation of more formal gifts to relations and governors throughout the empire. After their exhibition in Melbourne in 1892, she gave a suite of etchings made by herself and Prince Albert, including informal portraits of her children, to the NGV, where they were on display for many years.69Vaughan, p. 39. Six of these etchings by Victoria and Albert were included in the exhibition Great Impressions, A Centenary Exhibition Celebrating the Founding of the European Old Master collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, curated by Irena Zdanowicz, 1992. Such gifts not only asserted her power but also more broadly maintained and deepened the bonds between Australia and Britain, a drive that had led to the establishment of the Anglo-Australian Society of Artists in 1885, and the import of exhibitions of British art such as the highly influential Grosvenor Gallery Intercolonial Exhibition, held in Melbourne in 1887.70Alison Inglis, ‘Aestheticism and empire: The Grosvenor Gallery Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne, 1887’, in Kate Darian-Smith, Richard Gillespie, Caroline Jordan & Elizabeth Willis (eds), Seize the Day: Exhibitions, Australia and the World, Monash University ePress, Melbourne, 2008, pp. 16.1–16.17. It can be imagined that Cooper, as a collector and amateur artist, was keenly aware of Melbourne’s newly flourishing cultural institutions and, feeling his own personal stake in maintaining close ties between Britain and Australia, readily made his own contribution.71In Queen Victoria Gardens opposite the NGV today is Bertram Mackennal’s King Edward VII memorial, 1911–20, closely related to his Memorial to King Edward VII, 1911–21, in Waterloo Place, London. See Deborah Edwards et al., Bertram Mackennal, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2007, pp. 65, 135.

Dyce’s remarkable portrait drawing reflects the experimental bravura of this learned artist. Yet it was not copied and never took up its intended position in the royal household. This adds to its poignancy as the portrait of a boy now separated from those of his siblings. Its history reveals much about Victoria and Albert’s support for the arts, the decisive role of likeness in cultivating familial image and Dyce’s promotion of drawing principles that radically reinvented the values of the early Renaissance. But, more specifically, in its new location it came to have significance as a gift and a relic, exuding a pathos that Victoria would not have envisaged: a fragile sketch that crossed the seas, to embody both the identity of the future king and the bonds of affection felt by the NGV’s British patron – a grazier, artist and one-time resident of Victoria. It is the life of the self-effacing Duncan E. Cooper, whose creative potential was so abundantly realised in Australia, that is also remembered through this portrait and not only the artist who made it or the prince it so beguilingly depicts.

Dr Vivien Gaston, Honorary Fellow, School of Culture and Communication, The University of Melbourne

Notes

1

For their generous assistance and support I wish to thank Carly Collier, Cathy Leahy, Kate Nichols, Louise Wilson, Alison Inglis, Ted Gott, Irena Zdanowicz, Gerard Hayes, Julius Bryant, Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, Julia Jackson, Juliette Peers, Luke Doyle, Matthew Martin, Maggie Finch and Barbara Bryant.

2

It is recorded under ‘Crayon and sepia drawings’ in the Catalogue of the Oil Paintings, Water-Colour Drawings, Engravings, Lithographs, Photographs, &c in the National Gallery of Victoria, Fergusson and Moore, Melbourne, 1879, p. 44, and as being on display in the Buvelot Gallery in the Illustrated Catalogue of the National Gallery, Fergusson and Mitchell, Melbourne, 1894, p. 104. From 1905 to 1908 the portrait is illustrated in the catalogues. After Edward VII’s death in 1910 the work is included in the catalogues from 1911 to 1918 but not illustrated. In catalogues for 1921 and 1923 it is referred to as part of a collection of drawings on display in the Buvelot Gallery.

3

Tim Barringer has described him as ‘one of the great polymaths of early Victorian England’. See Tim Barringer, ‘Dyce, William (1806–1864)’, 2004, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, <http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/8343>, accessed 29 June 2018.

4

While travelling in Italy in the 1820s, he was influenced by the similarly motivated group of expatriate German artists known as the Nazarenes. See Cordula Grewe, The Nazarenes: Romantic Avant-Garde and the Art of the Concept, Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park, PA, 2015.

5

Other metalpoint drawings by Dyce, dated between 1845 and 1848, are in the Victoria & Albert Museum, the British Museum, Aberdeen Art Gallery and the Scottish National Gallery. See Marcia Pointon, William Dyce, 1806–1864: A Critical Biography, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1979, pp. 206–8.

6

Stacey Sell & Hugo Chapman (eds), Drawing in Silver and Gold: Leonardo to Jasper Johns, Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2015, p. 191. See also Stacey Sell, ‘“The interesting and difficult medium”: the silverpoint revival in nineteenth-century Britain’, Master Drawings, vol. 51, no. 1, Spring, 2013, pp. 65–6, 81nn10–11, and Susan Owens, ‘“A dose of paradise”: some effects of Renaissance drawings on Victorian artists’, in Diana Dethloff et al., Burning Bright: Essays in Honour of David Bindman, UCL Press, London, 2015, pp. 180–9.

7

Dyce played a key role in the success of the pre-Raphaelites by encouraging Ruskin’s attention to Millais’ work in the Royal Academy exhibition, as related in a letter of 28 December, 1882: ‘My real introduction to the whole school was by Mr. Dyce, R.A., who dragged me, literally up to Millais’ picture of ‘The Carpenter’s Shop,’ which I had passed disdainfully, and forced me to look for its merits’. E. T. Cook & Alexander Wedderburn (eds), The Works of John Ruskin, vol. 37, George Allen, London, 1903–12, pp. 427–8.

8

For the first English translation of Cennini’s Il libro dell’arte in 1844, see Zahira Véliz Bomford, ‘The art of conservation XI. Mary Merrifield’s quest: a new methodology for technical art history’, The Burlington Magazine, no. CLIX, June 2014, pp. 465–75.

9

Marcia Pointon extends her analysis of della Robbia’s influence to Dyce’s Madonna and Child, c. 1828, see Pointon p. 37 and fig. 101, and later to his youthful choristers in the fresco Hospitality: the admission of Sir Tristram to the fellowship of the Round Table, 1864; ibid. p. 177 and fig. 163.

10

By 1902, Maud Cruttwell could write that he stamped his works with ‘the mark of a vigorous and creative genius, by which he takes rank among the great artists of the world’, Maud Cruttwell, Luca and Andrea della Robbia and their Successors, J. M. Dent, London, 1902, p. 4. See John Pope-Hennessy, Luca della Robbia, Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY, 1980, and Charlotte Drew, ‘Luca della Robbia: South Kensington and the Victorian revival of a Florentine sculptor’, Sculpture Journal, vol. 23, no. 2, 2014, pp. 171–83.

11

Prince Albert and the artist shared an interest in early music; the prince was appointed a director of the Concerts of Ancient Music in 1840 and Dyce founded the Motett Society in 1844.

12

Susanna Avery-Quash, ‘“Incessant personal exertions and comprehensive artistic knowledge”: Prince Albert’s interest in early Italian art’, in Avery-Quash (ed.), Essays From a Study Day Held at the National Gallery, London on 5 and 6 June 2010, Royal Collection Trust, London, 2010, p. 5, <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/sites/default/files/V%20and%20A%20Art%20and%20Love%20%28Avery-Quash%29.pdf>, accessed 2 July 2018.

13

Jonathan Marsden (ed.), Victoria & Albert: Art & Love, Royal Collection Publications, London, 2010, p. 31.

14

Artist unknown, The Virgin and Child (‘The Colonna Madonna’), 1848–58, enamel on porcelain, Royal Collection Trust, RCIN 404017.

15

Delia Millar, The Victorian Watercolours and Drawings in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, vol. II, Philip Wilson, London, 1995, p. 887.

16

Queen Victoria, journal, 9 Aug. 1845. See Marsden, p. 111.

17

See Clare A. P. Willsdon, Mural Painting in Britain 1840–1940, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2000, pp. 47–50.

18

Kay Staniland, In Royal Fashion. The Clothes of Princess Charlotte of Wales and Queen Victoria 1796–1901, Museum of London, London, 1997, p. 120.

19

See commissions such as Robert Thorburn’s Portrait of Queen Victoria with Prince Alfred and Princess Helena, 1847, watercolour, Royal Collection.

20

I am indebted to Carly Collier for these references to Queen Victoria’s journals.

21

Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1992, vol. I, p. 307. Queen Victoria, journal, 8 Jan. 1848.

22

Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, ‘Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805–1873): Portraiture in the Age of Social Change’, PhD dissertation, University of Melbourne, 2016, p. 97.

23

Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. xvii, Queen Victoria, journal, 31 Oct. 1842.

24

Queen Victoria, journal, 12 Nov. 1847. See Vanessa Remington, ‘Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and their relations with artists’, in Avery-Quash, p. 2, <https://www.rct.uk/sites/default/files/VA%20Art%20and%20Love%20%28Remington%29.pdf>, accessed 26 Oct. 2018.

25

Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. 146. Landseer experienced difficulties in realising the likenesses in the painting from the very beginning and even when Franz Xaver Winterhalter was brought in to advise him on correcting the Queen’s features, he seemed unable to achieve a likeness that would satisfy the Queen. ibid.

26

This assessment was made by Queen Louise of Belgium in 1839; see Delia Millar, p. 750.

27

ibid. Queen Victoria, journal, 24 Dec. 1842.

28

Marsden, p. 30.

29

ibid. Queen Victoria, journal, 29 July 1842.

30

Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. 286. Queen Victoria, journal, 25 June 1842. George Hayter, then occupying the post of the Queen’s Principal Painter in Ordinary, grudgingly conceded that the portrait was ‘exceedingly like’. ibid.

31

Queen Victoria, journal, 24 Aug. 1843. See Barilo von Reisberg, p. 121. The latter comment was with regard to the Reception of Louis Philippe, King of the French, at Windsor Castle, 8 October 1844, 1844–45, Musée National du Château de Versailles.

32

Delia Millar, p. 454. Albert went on to lavishly praise the work. Queen Victoria was always very observant of physical characteristics and ready to make critical comment, describing Bertie in an 1858 letter to Vicky: ‘Handsome I cannot think him, with … those immense features and total lack of chin’, while the next year she thought him ‘improved’. Delia Millar, p. 731. In 1844 she had written: ‘Bertie so nice in his … black velvet breeches. He is so nicely made and has such good little legs’. ibid. p. 752.

33

William G. Fitzgerald, ‘Personal relics of the Queen and her children’, The Strand Magazine, vol. XIII, no. 78, June 1897, pp. 612, 620, 626.

34

Jane Ridley, Bertie: A Life of Edward VII, Chatto & Windus, London, 2012, pp. 23, 500 n57.

35

See Anne M. Lyden et al., Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 2014. They collected some of the earliest examples and ensured that photography was included in the Great Exhibition in 1851. See Marsden, pp. 397–9.

36

Marsden, Queen Victoria, journal, 17 Jan. 1852, p. 402.

37

The demanding range of these lessons is evident in the two bound volumes of sketches inscribed ‘Westall’s Sketches … intended as Studies for the instruction of Her Majesty/by whom they have all / been copied’. See Delia Millar, p. 921. William Leighton Leitch took over as the Queen’s drawing master in 1846.

38

See Queen Victoria, Prince Alfred, 1848, etching and drypoint on chine collé, 20.4 x 12.2 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, accession no. p.192.4-1

39

The Queen’s Audience Room was reserved for the most important guests and was where Victoria and Albert spent the first night after their marriage. The prince’s coffin was placed there on the night before his funeral. Marsden, p. 201.

40

Above, an ornate plaster ceiling cove is embellished with portrait bust reliefs of English monarchs from William the Conqueror to Queen Victoria. See Oliver Millar, The Later Georgian Pictures in the Collection of Her Majesty the Queen, vol. 1, Phaidon, London, 1969, pp. xli, 36–7. For John Thomas’s watercolour Windsor Castle: realized design for the Queen’s Audience Room, 1861, see Marsden, p. 201.

41

Royal Collection Trust, ‘Sir William Ross (1794–1860) Victoria, Princess Royal (1840–1901), 1845’, Royal Collection Trust,  <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/420340/victoria-princess-royal-1840-1901>, accessed 3 July 2018.

42

See discussion in Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. xxviii.

43

Royal Collection, RCIN 420336-420343. This kind of commission may have been also inspired by the idea suggested to Victoria and Albert by the Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg (stepmother to Prince Albert’s mother) in a letter of 25 December 1843: ‘You should have a portrait of each of your children painted every year. That would make a very interesting gallery’. See <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/420340/victoria-princess-royal-1840-1901>, accessed 3 July 2018.

44

Holland & Sons, Bonheur-du-jour, 1871, Royal Collection, RCIN 41237. See Marsden, p. 265. See also the Gold bracelet, 1845, Royal Collection, RCIN 4797, set with copies of Ross’s portrait miniatures of the children, attributed to Guglielmo Faija. See Marsden, p. 340.

45

Including, after the Second World War, in the Queen’s Audience Room, where they were set into the frames that had originally contained Gainsborough’s oval portraits of the family of George III. See Oliver Millar, The Victorian Pictures, vol. I, p. 305.

46

Perhaps the most dramatic examples are the relic-like portraits of the hands and feet of the Queen’s children sculpted in marble by Mary Thornycroft and displayed on crimson velvet pillows. Marsden, p. 76.

47

‘In the Windsor Inv. cat. nos 5569–70 are provisionally attributed to George Thomas and stated to have been bequeathed to the Queen by the Duchess of Kent in 1861’; see Delia Millar, vol. II, p. 885. Writing in 1979, Marcia Pointon notes that, while Dyce was living at Osborne he ‘found time to execute pastel drawings of the four royal children; only the study of the Prince of Wales … has survived’; see Pointon, p. 95.

48

These two works, reattributed to Dyce, were included in the exhibition at Scotland National Gallery, and Queen’s Gallery at Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, titled Scottish Artists 1750–1900: From Caledonia to the Continent, 6 August 2015 – 7 February 2016, curated by Deborah Clarke and Vanessa Remington.

49

Catalogue of the Whole of the Remaining Works in Oil, Drawings in Watercolour and Pencil, and Studies, of That Distinguished Artist William Dyce, R. A., Christie’s, London, 5 May 1865, National Art Library, Victoria and Albert Museum, London. I am most grateful to Carly Collier for this source.

50

See Royal Collection Trust, ‘William Dyce (1806–64) Princess Victoria 1848’, Royal Collection Trust, <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/917908-a>, accessed 3 July 2018. The receipt for Queen Victoria’s payment to Colnaghi is in the Royal Archives, RA PPTO/PP/QV/PP2/94/9024.

51

Royal Collection Trust, <https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/collection/917908-a>, accessed 3 July 2018.

52

For more on the unusually informal and close personal relations that Victoria and Albert actively pursued with artists, see Remington in Avery-Quash, pp. 1–19. Oliver Millar writes that in her journal Victoria ‘described Winterhalter and Landseer as “our personal, attached friends of more than 30 years standing”’. Oliver Millar, p. xxvii.

53

For example, Delia Millar writes that ‘At the sale of the contents of Landseer’s studio at Christie’s in May 1874 the Queen’s attempts to buy were frustrated by the very high prices, although she acquired a few items’. Delia Millar, vol. I, p. 518. See also Vanessa Remington’s discussion and her view that ‘Queen Victoria was always very cautious about the payment of artists’, Remington in Avery-Quash, p. 15.

54

Avery-Quash in Avery-Quash, p. 10.

55

Public Records Office of Victoria, PROV 4363/P/unit 8.

56

Public Records Office of Victoria, VPRS 4363/P000/unit 11, letter no. 296. I wish to thank Kate Nichols for her assistance in locating this letter. Inscribed on the fabric lining of the drawing is ‘Original study of / Portrait of HRH Prince of Wales (K. Edward) / by William Dyce R.A / bought by D.E. Cooper / at Christie’s Masons Rooms 1865 / As per letter of London / Aug 5 1877’.

57

ibid. Michie was a lawyer and politician who immigrated to Australia in 1839. In the same letter, Michie informs the trustees that John Rogers Herbert’s painting of ‘The Moses’ is ‘ready for delivery’.

58

ibid.

59

Cooper made a single first-class appearance for the Australian cricket team, during the 1850–51 season against Tasmania. ESPN Cricinfo, ‘Duncan Cooper’, ESPN Cricinfo, <http://www.espncricinfo.com/australia/content/player/4773.html>, accessed 3 July 2018.

60

Philip L. Brown, The Challicum Sketchbook 1842–53 and Supplementary Paintings by Duncan Elphinstone Cooper, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 1987, p. 14. See also Stephanie Owen Reeder, The Vision Splendid, National Library of Australia, Canberra, 2011, pp. 66–73.

61

Cooper refers to his friend the Hon. Robert Simson in his letter to the NGV Trustees donating the portrait.

62

Brown, p. 20.

63

ibid.

64

See his letter to the Trustees of the Public Library, Melbourne, ibid. pp. 147–8. The Report of the Sectional Committee of the Public Library of 1875 records the desire ‘to specially express their gratitude to Mr Duncan Elphinstone Cooper’ and their intention for the volumes to be ‘placed upon a separate shelf in the library, under the title of the “Cooper Collection”’, ibid. p. 147. Yet, when he was sent the annual report of the Trustees, he took issue with the way the books from his first gift had been listed and in 1877 wrote to explain his views on their correct order, expressing the hope that they would not be ‘stolen or vandalized’. Duncan Elphinstone Cooper, letter to Trustees, 21 Aug. 1877, SLV Australian Manuscripts Collection, MS 13020.

65

In a list of donations, the minutes of the meeting of the Gallery Committee for 25 October 1877 includes a ‘portrait of the Prince of Wales’ without referring to Dyce or Cooper, although Cooper is named in the index pages. SLV Australian Manuscripts Collection, MS 12855, vol. 57, p. 276. I am grateful to Gerard Hayes for locating these references to documents in the SLV.

66

Brown, p. 21. Cooper died of bronchitis in 1904 at Paddington, London.

67

Gerard Vaughan, ‘The cult of the Queen empress: royal portraiture in colonial Victoria’, Art Journal of the National Gallery of Victoria, vol. 50, 2011, p. 36. Dated 1876 and on public view in 1877 was Marshall Wood’s statue of Queen Victoria erected in the Melbourne Public Library, at that time housed in the same building as the NGV; ibid.

68

Henry-Russell Hitchcock writes that it was ‘consciously modelled’ on Osborne House. See Henry-Russell Hitchcock, Architecture: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, The Pelican History of Art, Penguin Books Ltd, Harmondsworth, 1958, p. 171.

69

Vaughan, p. 39. Six of these etchings by Victoria and Albert were included in the exhibition Great Impressions, A Centenary Exhibition Celebrating the Founding of the European Old Master collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, curated by Irena Zdanowicz, 1992.

70

Alison Inglis, ‘Aestheticism and empire: The Grosvenor Gallery Intercolonial Exhibition in Melbourne, 1887’, in Kate Darian-Smith, Richard Gillespie, Caroline Jordan & Elizabeth Willis (eds), Seize the Day: Exhibitions, Australia and the World, Monash University ePress, Melbourne, 2008, pp. 16.1–16.17.

71

In Queen Victoria Gardens opposite the NGV today is Bertram Mackennal’s King Edward VII memorial, 1911–20, closely related to his Memorial to King Edward VII, 1911–21, in Waterloo Place, London. See Deborah Edwards et al., Bertram Mackennal, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2007, pp. 65, 135.