Queen Victoria & Prince Albert as painted by Winterhalter

Franz Xavier Winterhalter (1805-1873)
was a German artist who first visited Britain in 1842 and became one of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert's favourite painters, creating about 120 works for them. Although he never received high praise for his work in his native Germany, the royal families of England, France, and Belgium all commissioned him to paint portraits. Winterhalter's portraits were prized for their subtle intimacy, but his popularity among patrons came from his ability to create the image his sitters wished or needed to project to their subjects. He was able to capture the moral and political climate of each court, adapting his style to each client until it seemed as if his paintings acted as press releases, issued by a master of public relations. [Getty]

The following excerpt taken from Queen Victoria by Helen Rappoport

Winterhalter had already painted Victoria twice before - in 1833 and again on her coronation in 1837 - when he finally gained the seal of approval of the royal family in Britain. His paintings of Victoria, Albert, and their rapidly growing brood of children would bring him back for two or three months almost every subsequent year between 1843 and 1850. On this and subsequent visits, he remained within the close enclave at court; no doubt here he felt at ease with so many German speakers around him (the queen and Prince Albert included), aware of the general antipathy to Germans among the public at large...Victoria found him odd, although after his death she remarked that "with all his peculiarities I liked him so much". [Richard Ormond]

Once she discovered Winterhalter, Victoria rapidly abandoned all other older-established court painters. That is with the exception of her adored Edwin Landseer, whose animal paintings, she greatly admired. He romanticized the young and handsome Prince Albert on canvas in a way that delighted the queen, and she applauded what she perceived as the honesty of his likenesses of herself. In 1843, Victoria allowed Winterhalter to paint a surprise present for Albert's 25th birthday. It is probably the only, and famously, seductive image of her.

In a letter to her daughter Vicky, she agonized over whether to commission "three half-lengths of Bertie, Alix and the baby or two full-lengths of Bertie and Alix" since she could not afford both. (Elizabeth Longford)

I've always been fascinated by Queen Victoria and her family so I was delighted to find these portraits done by one of the royal family's favoured painters. I especially enjoyed seeing the portraits of her children in their youth and imagining what life must have been like for Victoria as a young wife and mother.

Prince Albert -1842

Victoria 1843

Victoria with her cousin Victoire, Duchess of Nemours - 1852

Victoria 1842

Queen Victoria - 1847

Prince Albert - 1870

~ Victoria and Albert had 9 children ~

1840 - Victoria Adelaide Mary (Princess Royal)
1841 - Albert Edward (future King Edward VII)
1843- Alice Maud Mary
1844- Alfred Ernest Albert
1846 - Helena Augusta Victoria
1848 - Louise Caroline Alberta
1850 - Arthur William Patrick
1853 - Leopold George Duncan
1857 - Beatrice Mary Victoria

[Years listed immediately above refer to year of birth of children
Year listed under each painting refer to date artwork was done]

Victoria, Princess Royal - 1842

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales 1843

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert
with the Family of King Louis Philippe at the Chateau D'Eu - 1845

Princess Alice 1845

The Royal Family - 1846
(Children L-R: Alfred, Albert Edward, Alice, Baby Helena, Victoria)
I find it odd how boys were dressed like girls back then...

Queen Victoria with Edward, Prince of Wales - 1846

Prince Albert Edward , Prince of Wales -1846

Prince Alfred - 1846

The four eldest princesses
Victoria, Princess Royal, Alice, Helena, and Louise 1849

Princess Helena and Prince Alfred

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, with Prince Alfred 1849

Queen Victoria with Prince Arthur - 1850
(Arthur would become Governor General of Canada in 1911)

The First of May 1851
The Duke of Wellington Presenting a Casket on Prince Arthur's Birthday.
The Duke was the godfather to Arthur and they shared the same birthday of May 1st.
Read more about this painting...

His Royal Highness Prince Albert
with the Princess Royal
and Eos the dog - 1843

Prince Arthur - 1852

Prince Leopold - 1855

Princess Louise with Prince Arthur and Prince Leopold - 1856

Princess Beatrice 1859

Princess Helena - 1865

Princess Helena - 1861

Princess Alice - 1861
(mother of Princess Alix (Alexandra) who married Tsar Nicholas II of Russia)

Princess Alice - 1859

Victoria, Princess Royal - 1857

Emperor Frederick III of Germany, King of Prussia with his wife, Empress Victoria,
and their children, Prince William und Princess Charlotte - 1862

Victoria, Princess Royal - 1867
(year my country was born!)

Prince Alfred - 1865

Alexandra of Denmark, Princess of Wales, later Queen of England
(She would marry Edward in 1863)

Victoria, Duchess of Kent - 1861
(mother of Queen Victoria)

I always wondered why the royals were so unoriginal in naming their children. I imagine that they wanted to preserve tradition by naming their offspring after their ancestors but I think it makes for much confusion! Just take the name Victoria as an example... It is the name of Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, the mother of Queen Victoria, and it was one of the names of three of the queen's five daughters. and was also the name of Victoria's granddaughter, (King Edward's daughter). Queen Victoria is also painted with her cousin Victoire from France. More Victoria's found here...

If someone knows the reason why kings and queens insisted on using the same names,
please enlighten me!

See more period paintings at Gallery of Selective Artwork


  1. So true about the names. I do genealogy research and it is the same in our American families. It drives me nuts trying to determine which one was which.

  2. Your identification of the children in the portrait of the family is a little off. The children L to R are: Alfred, Albert (Bertie), Alice, Helena, and Victoria (Vicky).

  3. Thanks for pointing that out Kirsten. Further proof of how easy it is to mix up their names!

  4. I love your blog...Period films are a passion with me, and your pictures are lovely!. It would be an honor if you visited mine, Its about Antique Dolls, but intermingle with the history of the times these dolls existed. I think you will like it."Dolls from the Attic"

  5. Hi Marta! It's always lovely to meet another fan of period films. I do have a fondness for dolls too!

  6. Hi Charles! I spend a lot of time on your blog, is very addictive and wonderful! I hope you visit my "budding" blog when you have a chance. It would be an honor!

  7. Hi Marta, I did peek at your blog! Looks like fun!

    btw, my name isn't Charles, 'Charleybrown' is my username but I'm definitely not a man :)

  8. I finally found the perfect all around site. I waited long enough! Thank you for the obvious passion and love you have put into this serene space.

  9. Karen,
    Thank you so much for your kind words! Lovely to know that you appreciate the same things!



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