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Signed, "Victoria, C. Pss. Royal" and dated 1886
Oil on Canvas

Canvas size: 26x37 in./67x95 cm.
Frame size: 40x51 in./103x131 cm.

In original carved and gilded frame, surmounted by a cipher and crown, with original Italian framer's label on reverse. The frame was made by Theodore Montarsolo at the Palace Podesta in Genoa at Via Garribaldi, now renamed Via Nouva. Advertising carving and gilding undertaken including mirrored wall lights.

Provenance:- By direct descent through the family, who loaned their house "Villa Clara" on Lake Como to Queen Victoria and her family in 1879. This painting was given as a thank you gift. Original letters from Queen Victoria, The Princess Royal, Henry Ponsonby and Count Gotz von Seckendorff, the Princess Royal's Private Secretary, mention-ing the visit and painting - have been kindly loaned by the family.

Victoria, Princess Royal of Great Britain was born on 21st. November 1840 at Buckingham Palace, the eldest of nine children of Queen Victo-ria and Prince Albert. Her parents with their mentor Baron Stokmar (1787-1863) devised a comprehensive plan for the education of the Royal children, which included the teaching of drawing and painting.

The Princesses, especially Victoria, were more responsive to this idea than their brothers, and Victoria's first drawing and painting lesson was from the artists who taught and painted for her parents, one being William Leighton Leitch (1804-1883), who instructed her in painting landscape subjects.

Later the instructor and watercolourist Edward Henry Corbould (1815-1905) was appointed Drawing Master to the Royal children, a po-sition he held till circa 1866.

In 1853, a year after he took up this position, his impact on the Princess Royal's painting can be clearly seen, and there are many extremely competent sketches and finished drawings in the Royal Collection, which she produced from a very early age.

Prince Frederick William of Prussia had first met the Princess in 1851, when he visited London with his father to see the Great Exhibition. His father returned to England in 1853, to discuss a possible marriage alliance with Queen Victoria. In July of that year the princess drew and coloured a romantic drawing and inscribed it "To my dear good Fritz" which was a touching affectation to her own early affection for the Prince. This work is now part of the Hesse Archives at Fulda.

The Princess Royal and Frederick William became formally engaged in September 1855, by which time Britain and Prussia were involved in the Crimea War. A patriotic fund had been set up in 1854 - for the dependants of the soldiers fighting in the

In 1855 an exhibition of paintings by amateur artists was held at the Bond Street premises of the picture dealer, Ernest Gambert, it was such a huge success that it was then moved to Burlington House, Piccadilly. Under the sanction of Her Majesty drawings by the Royal family were included and pride of place went to the Princess Royal's large watercol-our titled "The Field of Battle" which was sold for 250 guineas, it was then published in print form and sold for 1 guinea each.

The Illustrated London News had described the painting as "by far the best in the room" - the composition is artistic, the sentiment poetic and the execution spirited.

The Princess Royal and Frederick (Fritz) were married on the 25th. January 1858, and soon after her arrival in Germany she acquired a new drawing teacher, Carl Gottfried Pfannschmidt (1819-1887) and she continued to draw and paint, sending many works back to her mother in England, many of which are now in the Royal collection.

During the summer holiday of 1873 she had lessons from Christian Karl Magnussen (1821-1896) and it was about this time that the artist Heinrich von Angele (1840-1925) began teaching the Princess to paint in oils. She first met him at the Great Exhibition in Vienna and there-after invited him to the Palace at Potsdam to paint and teach, she con-sidered him, after Winterhalter's death, the finest Portrait painter alive and delighted in taking lessons, producing many fine portraits in oils of her children, friends and family.

The Princess then painted a number of landscapes and still life subjects, one of which was destined for the dining room of her eldest daughter Charlotte following her marriage in 1878.

Queen Victoria, The Princess Victoria and her sister Beatrice (1857-1944) paid their first visit to "Villa Clara" in April 1879, and there is a lot of detail about this visit, as it was of course, reported in the papers. There is a letter from J. J. Kamme, one of the Queen's private staff dated 22nd. April 1879, thanking the family in detail for the use of the Villa and noting that it was the last day of their stay, also a letter from Henry Ponsonby, the Queens Private Secretary dated 1st. May 1879, again thanking the family for the visit and commenting on how much the Queen had enjoyed it.

Throughout her life the Princess Royal had patronised the arts and openly sought men and women of culture and artistic temperament, en-couraging the promotion of the Industrial Arts. She was also a pioneer in developing Women's Higher Education in Germany.

On the death of Emperor William I in 1888, her husband "Fritz" be-came Emperor Frederick but sadly he too died in June of the same year. The Empress Frederick as the Princess Royal was now known then retired to her Country Estate at Kronberg where she had built a vast Country House called Friedrichschof (Frederick's Court), where she followed her causes of politics, literature and art.

As the century was drawing to a close she became aware that she had contracted the same fateful illness that had killed her husband "Fritz". Her mother Queen Victoria died on the 22nd. January and she passed away 6 months, later in the same year on 5th. August 1901.

This highly important painting that we have obtained, with a full and direct provenance, and still retaining its original carved and gilded frame is in fine condition and must be considered as a historical and lovely example of her work, possibly being one of the most important paintings by a member of the Royal family to appear on the market in recent years.

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