L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Queen Victoria at thirteen, copy after Sir George Hayter, circa 1866-70

Portrait of Princess Victoria of Kent (later Queen Victoria, Empress of India) with her spaniel Dash.

Princess Victoria of Kent - still more than four years away from becoming queen - sat for the original portrait between 29 January and 22 March of 1833. The resulting work was exhibited at the Royal Academy later that year, and was reproduced as a mezzotint.  It was painted for her uncle, Leopold I, King of the Belgians; in 1865 Queen Victoria asked him for a copy of the original, which was eventually completed by an unknown artist.

Windsor Castle is seen in the distance, and her beloved spaniel Dash is at her feet, playing with her dropped glove.  Princess Victoria was an only child and, living always among adults, she had few if any friends.  So this little dog, who she received the same year the portrait was painted, was famously dear to her; after her coronation ceremonies in 1838, she hurried back to Buckingham Palace so that she could give Dash his scheduled bath.  He died in 1840 and was buried at Windsor.  The inscription on his grave reads: "Here lies - DASH - The favourite spaniel of Her Majesty Queen Victoria - In his 10th year - His attachment was without selfishness - His playfulness without malice - His fidelity without deceit - READER - if you would live beloved and die regretted - profit by the example of - DASH".

Hayter's oil sketch.


Sir George Hayter (17 December 1792, London – 18 January 1871, London), English painter, specializing in individual and important group portraits. Soon after her accession in 1837, Queen Victoria appointed Hayter her Painter of History and Portrait.  He went on to paint the official state portrait of the new queen the following year, the large group of her coronation that same year, and that of her wedding in 1840.  In 1841 Queen Victoria appointed Hayter her Principal Painter in Ordinary and awarded him a knighthood the next year, though his royal favor was soon eclipsed by that of Edwin Landseer and Franz Winterhalter.


  1. What a wonderful legacy for DASH. To hear her words that were inscribed on his tomb is so touching, and just as true about dogs today. They teach us how to live genuinely. xoox Victoria.