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 2, 2015
Princess Beatrice, portrait by von Angeli, 1875
Princess Beatrice was eighteen the year Baron von Angeli - her mother Queen Victoria's favorite portrait painter at the time - completed this portrait. Victoria and Albert's youngest child, she is seen here in the bloom of youth; it would be a full decade before her mother would very grudgingly allow her to wed and have a family of her own.
There is some alteration to the color of the paint surface and/or varnish with this painting. Most likely some sort of instability in the paint or medium; several of von Angeli's have a similar discoloration. It's interesting to compare the lithograph below, by Carl Feederle (1832-81), with the original. It has a completely convincing rectangular format, including more of the Princess' wrap and a balustrade. But the original was almost certainly always an oval. Queen Victoria commissioned portraits of all her daughters when they were aged from about seventeen to nineteen years old. (The others are by Winterhalter, who had passed away by the time Beatrice's came due.) Each of the paintings has an oval format, and a frame that matches the one seen here.
Stephen O'Donnell, painter and singer/performer. A mid-career fine artist, I have been showing professionally since 1995. Married to author and graphic designer Gigi Little, with whom I occasionally perform a mother and daughter singing act, Madeleine and Penny Prévert.