Throughout her life, Queen Victoria was an active patron of the arts. Her journals reveal that, even in her childhood, she dabbled in sketching, often painting paper dolls and even an occasional self-portrait.
Now, etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert from The Royal Collection are set to go on show at the London Original Print Fair in April.
Like his wife, Prince Albert was a keen amateur artist, and it is believed that he is the one who introduced Queen Victoria to the art of etching after their marriage in 1840. The two sketches on display – one done by Victoria and other done by Albert – are dated 13 January, 1842. They depict rustic figures modelled on the drawings of Edwin Landseer, an English painter best known for making the sculptures of the lions in Trafalgar Square, and a favourite of The Queen.
The senior curator of prints and drawings at the Royal Collection, Martin Clayton, has selected 30 prints to go on display at this, the 30th anniversary of the London Original Print Fair. The Royal sketches will be a part of a standalone exhibition that includes etchings, woodcuts and lithographs by Old Masters such as Raphael, Castiglione, Canaletto, Albrecht Durer and Giovanni Benedetto. However, all the works of art belong to the Royal Collection, and will not be for sale, despite being featured in the art fair.
The London Original Print Fair is the city’s longest running art fair and one of the largest of its kind. It was founded in 1985 by the director of The Fine Art Society, Gordon Cooke, who still serves as a co-director of the Fair. For the last 30 years, the Print Fair has allowed collectors and print enthusiasts to interact with dealers and artists, and provides them with an opportunity to view print from various historical periods.
This year, the London Original Print Fair will take place from 23rd – 26th April at the Royal Academy in London. It is expected to attract up to 50 print dealers, galleries and publishers, who will have a chance to acquire a wide range of art, from works by Rembrandt to Grayson Perry, with prices ranging from £100 to £250,000.