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Prince Consort's statue unveiling

Explore how Albert was memorialised across art forms

Sir Joseph Noël Paton (1821-1901)

In Memoriam 1863-64

Oil on canvas | 91.4 x 120.0 cm (support, canvas/panel/str external) | RCIN 405162

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In this unfinished group portrait, Queen Victoria is sitting at a table with Princess Alice and Princess Helena standing behind her. The Queen rests her hand on the head of Princess Beatrice, who kneels at her feet and looks up at the bust of Prince Albert. Prince Arthur stands, in Highland dress with his arm round the base of the bust. Prince Leopold and Princess Louise kneel to place something, perhaps a wreath, at the foot of the pedestal.

On 25 February 1863, the Queen wrote that she saw

Mr Noel Paton, the Scotch painter, who has painted such beautiful pictures, & who is to do a small "In Memoriam" of me with Alice & the 3 youngest children

Queen Victoria's Journal, RA VIC/MAIN/QVJ (W) 25 February 1863 Princess Beatrice's copies

Paton was prevented by illness from completing the painting. After the artist's death, his executors agreed to sell the preliminary portrait drawings for the painting to King Edward VII. At the same time they offered the unfinished painting as a present. The artist's son noted:

No man was ever more devotedly loyal than my father and the late Queen's appreciation of his work was I believe its only reward that he set much store by.