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 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.


  1. What a marvelous, wistful expression she has here. Thanks for sharing this. Its lovely, and so was she.

  2. I really adore the painting - that ghostly ivy...but, it is wonderful to see the litho as well. Lovely portrait and mention of history.


  3. Princess Beatrice beautiful?
    I beg to disagree...

    Just like Winterhalter, this painter flattered his subject.
    Judging by her photos, Beatrice was the least attractive of all of the not so attractive daughters of Queen Victoria. The only one who was truly beautiful was Princess Louise and the Princess Royal following close by.

    Princess Beatrice married a very handsome man, and that was why, their daughter, Victoria Eugenia grew up to be the most beautiful princess in Europe. She was the wife of the King of Spain.

    1. I don't think anyone would make the argument that Beatrice was quite beautiful, not even considering the pleasing portrait above. But she was a pretty child and a pleasant enough looking young woman. I would also argue that von Angeli's portraits are, as a whole, not over-flattering, and that Queen Victoria Eugenia of Spain looked almost entirely her mother's daughter; the physical characteristics that cause us to judge one plain and the next beautiful are often nearly identical, only the slightest variation may completely alter our perception and judgement.

  4. You are, of course, entitled to your own opinion, Stephen.
    I guess we wont even agree to disagree. It's your blog after all.