Queen Victoria thumbnail 1
Queen Victoria thumbnail 2
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Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 125, Edwin and Susan Davies Gallery

Queen Victoria

Bust
1888 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
The occasion for the commission of this formal marble bust is unknown; the piece was acquired by the Museum in 1963. In addition to her other decorations, the Queen is shown wearing the badge of the Imperial Order of the Star of India and the Royal Red Cross (instituted in 1883).

People
Count Gleichen (Viktor Ferdinand Franz Eugen Gustav Adolf Constantin Friedrich Prinz von Hohenlohe-Langenburg) was the son of a half-sister of Queen Victoria. He served in the Royal Navy, and was promoted Admiral in 1887. After losing all his fortune in a bank crash, he became a professional sculptor and was accorded a studio in St James's Palace. He had been a pupil of William Theed (1804-1891), one of the sculptors favoured by Queen Victoria. Gleichen exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy, and his daughter Fedora, Countess Gleichen, also became a sculptor.

Materials & Making
Marble busts were among the most popular and prestigious types of public portrait undertaken in Britain during the Victorian period. The marble, a relatively expensive material, was imported, usually from Italy via The Netherlands, since there are no marble quarries in this country. The skills needed to carve marble might also be learned abroad, where an aspiring artist would probably gain his most important training assisting an established sculptor.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Marble
Brief Description
Bust, marble, of Queen Victoria, by Count Victor (Prince Victor) Gleichen (Hohenlohe-Langenburg), English, 1888
Physical Description
The head of Queen Victoria is turned slightly to the viewer's right. She wears a small crown over a veil. The Garter sash passes over her left shoulder. The bust finishes in a corsage of laurels, tied with a bow.
Dimensions
  • Height: 85cm
  • Width: 58cm
  • Maximum depth: 43cm
  • Base width: 29cm
  • Base depth: 28.5cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 23/04/1999 by LH Base is 29 cm square
Marks and Inscriptions
  • 'G 1888' (Signature; date; Back of the bust; 1888)
  • 'VICTORIA REGINA PRESENTED BY SIR GEORGE MARTIN HOLLOWAY 1889' (Inscription; decoration; On the front of the marble block; 1889)
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Queen Victoria was a keen patron of contemporary sculpture. This bust was sculpted by the son of her half-sister. The Queen is shown wearing a laurel wreath and the Garter star, with the badge of the Royal Order of Victoria and Albert.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Given by Gerald Kerin Ltd.
Object history
Given by Messrs Gerald Kerin Ltd., 9 Mount Street, London, in 1963.
Subjects depicted
Summary
Object Type
The occasion for the commission of this formal marble bust is unknown; the piece was acquired by the Museum in 1963. In addition to her other decorations, the Queen is shown wearing the badge of the Imperial Order of the Star of India and the Royal Red Cross (instituted in 1883).

People
Count Gleichen (Viktor Ferdinand Franz Eugen Gustav Adolf Constantin Friedrich Prinz von Hohenlohe-Langenburg) was the son of a half-sister of Queen Victoria. He served in the Royal Navy, and was promoted Admiral in 1887. After losing all his fortune in a bank crash, he became a professional sculptor and was accorded a studio in St James's Palace. He had been a pupil of William Theed (1804-1891), one of the sculptors favoured by Queen Victoria. Gleichen exhibited frequently at the Royal Academy, and his daughter Fedora, Countess Gleichen, also became a sculptor.

Materials & Making
Marble busts were among the most popular and prestigious types of public portrait undertaken in Britain during the Victorian period. The marble, a relatively expensive material, was imported, usually from Italy via The Netherlands, since there are no marble quarries in this country. The skills needed to carve marble might also be learned abroad, where an aspiring artist would probably gain his most important training assisting an established sculptor.
Bibliographic Reference
Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 286, cat.no. 440
Collection
Accession Number
A.16-1963

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record createdSeptember 6, 2002
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