Victoria's First Council

The art collection has two principal categories: topographical artwork and portraiture. Many works of art are on display to visitors.

Art collection overview

The works of art collection includes prints, watercolours, pen and ink drawings, a small number of oil paintings, photographs and a few works in other media.

Subjects include landscape views of palaces and gardens, historic scenes set within palace interiors, and royalty and courtiers associated with palaces.

Artefacts from the art collection

First Council of Queen Victoria

The First Council of Queen Victoria is an oil painting by Sir David Wilkie. It was painted in 1838 and it belongs to the Royal Collection. This copy of Wilkie's original is on display in Victoria Revealed at Kensington Palace. Sir David Wilkie (1785-1841) was a Scottish painter and a member of the Royal Academy. He made his name in the first half of the 19th century with genre painting, observing glimpses of scenes from everyday life.

The scene depicted in the painting shows the first meeting of Queen Victoria and her council. The painter has taken some artistic liberties and depicted Victoria in a white dress, when in fact she wore a black mourning dress as was appropriate for the occasion. This dress, now faded from black to a yellowish brown, is held at the Royal Ceremonial Dress Collection at Kensington Palace.

This painting gives the viewer a glimpse of how young Victoria’s life had changed. Her quiet, protected childhood was over in an instant. She was now a teenage Queen, not yet married, taking full charge of government business.

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