martedì 12 agosto 2014

Queen Victoria's watercolours and drawings.



Se il destino e la storia non avessero voluto fare di Alexandrina Victoria la grande regina che fortunatamente divenne, celebrata ancor'oggi quale ispiratrice di un'intera epoca, quella vittoriana, il suo nome sarebbe, senza alcun dubbio, ricordato quale quello di una talentuosa acquerellista.





The Children at Osborne, 1850
Watercolour






Tutti i regnanti inglesi che l'hanno preceduta, a partire dal nonno re Giorgio III, avevano prima di lei dimostrato grande propensione ed attitudine per la pittura, per cui il suo talento sembra appartenere ad una sorta di predisposizione genetica per non dire che grandi pittori che frequentavano la corte già al tempo, inoltre, hanno sicuramente esercitato la loro influenza su questa sua vocazione, da Edwin Landseer a William Leighton Leitch a Richard Westhall che fu colui che per primo di tale marcata inclinazione per le arti figurative si avvide e che la coltivò.

Victoria ricevette la sua prima lezione di disegno a Kensington Palace quando aveva otto anni, per la precisione la mattina del 4 dicembre 1827, alle ore 9,30 ... era un martedì, un momento che per sempre rimarrà impresso nella sua memoria, e la lezione si tenne tra quelle di religione e di storia prima, e quelle di poesia e di cultura generale dopo; il suo insegnante era proprio Richard Westall (1765-1836), che continuò a seguirla in lezioni che si tenevano due volte la settimana, fino a che, nel 1836, si spegnerà. 




 Queen Victoria, when Princess Victoria,
 Schrewsbury, Watercolour, after Richard Westhall 





Queen Victoria, when Princess Victoria
A young girl filling a pitcher from a spring, 17 August 1831
Pencil, watercolour and pen and ink
RCIN 980014.j



A lui subentrerà a partire dal 30 settembre del 1846 William Leighton Leitch ( 1804 - 1883 ), celebre acquerellista ed illustratore scozzese, a cui probabilmente si deve la maturità di Victoria nel dipingere, visto che fu colui che la seguirà da allora per ben 22 anni.
Analogamente a quanto fece Westhall, Leitch metteva a disposizione della giovane regina dei fogli con dei suoi acquerelli che ella doveva cercare di copiare come meglio sapeva, ma questi voleva che Victoria imparasse soprattutto come creare una vasta gamma di colori differenti partendo dai tre colori primari.






Coniugando talenti latenti, entusiasmo e valente insegnamento Victoria divenne presto una capace disegnatrice ed un'acquarellista di prestigio, maturando un tale diletto nel trasferire esperienze in immagini che, come già ho avuto modo di raccontarvi qui trattando delle sue incantevoli bambole e della cura che ella aveva riponeva nel progettarle prima di farle, divenne la sua grande passione da adolescente, passione che accompagnerà ogni momento significativo della sua vita anche da adulta, fino alla fine dei suoi giorni.




Astuccio da disegno e pittura Winsor-Newton appartenuto a Victoria



Dall'età di otto anni, perciò i disegni e gli acquerelli, a penna ed inchiostro cominceranno con il corredare il suo diario ( va detto che si tratta molto spesso di schizzi che erano fatti per puro diletto, senza prevedere che un giorno avrebbero potuto trovare pubblicazione ), mentre ai dipinti veri e propri, quelli più impegnati, ella dedicherà da adulta un album speciale.




Autoritratto del 1835





Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Princess Royal Victoria, is seen as a baby crawling along with a ball of wool in an intimate drawing from 1841





Three views of Victoria, the Princess Royal, at bath time. Her nickname, Pussy, is inscribed at the top.





Queen Victoria in Bal Costumé outfit as Queen Philippa - pen and ink sketch with watercolor by Queen Victoria, Thursday 12th May 1842





Prince Albert in Bal Costumé outfit- pen and ink sketch with watercolor by Queen Victoria,
 Thursday 12th May 1842





Three views of the Princess Royal in her finery, in a sketch from February 1844







Victoria, Princess Royal and Queen Victoria in costume - pen and ink sketch with watercolor by Queen Victoria, Friday 6th June 1845

Da bambina ritraeva le cose che la circondavano: la sua governante, il suo cane Dash, le Ladies in visita a Kensington Palace e le stelle del mondo del teatro spesso ammirate sul palcoscenico, 



Last scene from The Charade at Chatsworth, Watercolour from Victoria's Journal,
 30 October 1832



mentre da adulta volgerà la propria attenzione più alla famiglia ed agli scorci paesistici dei luoghi in cui si trovava a soggiornare; senza alcun dubbio le lezioni di Leitch consentirono alla regina di affinare le proprie qualità e di divenire una pittrice di acquerello di autentico talento. Quando il pittore Clarkson Stanfield (1793-1867) vide un suo disegno nello studio di Leitch gli disse: ' Dipinge troppo bene per essere solo una dilettante. Entrerà presto a far parte della schiera degli artisti professionisti '; ovviamente questi non sapeva che l'artista in questione era la regina !



The Prince of Wales with a parrot. Watercolour of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, 
by Queen Victoria, 1843 





Landscape watercolour practice sheet, painted c.1846





Bertie, 1849
Watercolour, pen and ink, and pencil







Archie & Annie Macdonald with Daphne a Fanny at the kennel. Watercolour portrait of two Highland children, by Queen Victoria, 31 March 1850






View of St. James’s Park. Watercolour by Queen Victoria, July 1855. 






From my Sitting room window. Market Day. Watercolour of market day at Coburg, 
by Queen Victoria, 29 September – 3 October 1860.






From The Drawing Room Window, Muckross, August 29, 1861




Solamente il grave lutto che colpì Victoria il 14 dicembre del 1861, quando perse improvvisamente il proprio consorte Principe Albert, facendo sì che si chiudesse in sè stessa sprofondando in un abisso in cui non vi era parte neppure per l'espressività artistica, poteva interrompere la sua produzione pittorica, ma ella irrimediabilmente riprenderà con il dipingere durante l'estate del 1863, quando come di consueto, si trovava in vacanza a Balmoral ... quella per le arti figurative era realmente una radicata vocazione che non poteva rimanere sopita troppo a lungo e che continuerà con il deliziare i momenti più intimi della Regina del Popolo anche da anziana.




View from my window at Balmoral by moonlight. Watercolour by Queen Victoria, 
October 1864. 



Si conclude così questa mia antologia di incantevoli immagini ... pensate che sono più di duecento quelle che ci sono state tramandate ... sì, ammetto che mi affascina sempre scoprire aspetti poco noti di personaggi importanti che hanno fatto la nostra storia e mi piace proporveli così come li conosco io, come nessun libro di storia ci ha mai dato l'opportunità di apprenderli ed apprezzarli ... la storia non è fatta solo di date da ricordare, di battaglie, di nomi celebri, ma è stata anche, e soprattutto, vissuta, da persone che come noi avevano sentimenti, emozioni, stati d'animo ... persone fallibili, vulnerabili, con pregi, difetti ... imperfette ... persone vere, con un loro mondo interiore, che sono esistite ... realmente ... proprio come noi.


E' giunto quindi il momento di congedarmi da voi, e con rinnovato affetto, vi saluto e vi auguro ogni bene fino al nostro prossimo incontro, qui, tra le pagine del nostro passato,
ancora da sfogliare.  

A presto miei cari amici e lettori 













Note:

Tutti i dipinti ed i disegni pubblicati appartengono al Royal Collection Trust, © HM Queen Elizabeth II







If the fate and the story hadn't wanted to do of Alexandrina Victoria the great queen which fortunately became, celebrated even today as the inspiration for an entire era, the Victorian one, with no doubt her name would be remembered as that of a talented watercolorist.



- picture 1 - The Children at Osborne, 1850, Watercolour, RCIN 980055.ab



All British kings preceding her, from her grandfather King George III, had shown before than her great willingness and aptitude for painting, so her talent seems to belong to some sort of genetic predisposition, not to say that the great painters who frequented the court already at the time, also, have certainly exerted their influence on her attitude, from Edwin Landseer to William Leighton Leitch and Richard Westhall who was the first to discover and cultivate this already strong inclination of hers for the figurative arts. 

Victoria received her first drawing lessons at Kensington Palace when she was eight years old, to be precise on the morning of December 4, 1827, at 9:30 am ... it was a Tuesday, a moment that will forever remain etched in her memory, and the lecture was held between those of religion and history first, and those of poetry and general culture after; her teacher was just Richard Westall (1765-1836), who continued to follow her into lessons, that were held twice a week, until, in 1836, he will pass away.



- picture 2 -  Queen Victoria, when Princess Victoria, Schrewsbury, Watercolour, after Richard Westhall 


- picture 3 - Queen Victoria, when Princess Victoria, A young girl filling a pitcher from a spring, 17 August 1831, Pencil, watercolour and pen and ink RCIN 980014.j



On September 30, 1846 William Leighton Leitch (1804-1883), will take the place of him: he was a famous Scottish watercolourist and illustrator and probably has lead to the maturity Victoria in the paint, as it was the one that followed her for 22 years since then. 
Similar to what Westhall did, Leitch put at the disposal of the young queen leaves with his watercolors that she had to try to copy as best as she knew, but he wanted Victoria to learn especially how to create a wide range of different colors starting from the three primary ones.



- picture 4 - RCIN 981349



Combining latent talents, enthusiasm and talented teaching Victoria became soon a capable designer and a watrcolour painter of prestige, taking such pleasure in transferring experiences in pictures so that, as I got to tell you here treating of her beautiful dolls and of the care that she had reposed in designing before than making them, it became her passion as a teenager, a passion that will accompany every significant moment of her life, even as an adult, until the end of her days.



- picture 5 - A drawing and painting case Winsor-Newton belonged to Victoria



From the age of eight years, therefore, drawings and watercolors, by pen and ink, will begin with the accompany her diary ( it must be said that very often they're sketches that were made for simply pleasure, without foreseeing that one day they could find publication ), while the paintings, those most committed, will be collected in a special album.



- picture 6 - Queen Victoria's selfportrait


- picture 7 - Queen Victoria's eldest daughter Princess Royal Victoria, is seen as a baby crawling along with a ball of wool in an intimate drawing from 1841


- picture 8 - Three views of Victoria, the Princess Royal, at bath time. Her nickname, Pussy, is inscribed at the top.


- picture 9 - Queen Victoria in Bal Costumé outfit as Queen Philippa - pen and ink sketch with watercolor by Queen Victoria, Thursday 12th May 1842


- picture 10 - Prince Albert in Bal Costumé outfit- pen and ink sketch with watercolor by Queen Victoria, Thursday 12th May 1842



- picture 11 - Three views of the Princess Royal in her finery, in a sketch from February 1844


- picture 12 - Victoria, Princess Royal and Queen Victoria in costume - pen and ink sketch with watercolor by Queen Victoria, Friday 6th June 1845



As a child she depicted the things around her: her governess, her dog Dash, the Ladies in visit to Kensington Palace and the stars of the world of theater often admired on the stage,



- picture 13 - Last scene from The Charade at Chatsworth, Watercolour from Victoria's Journal,
 30 October 1832.



while as an adult she will turn her attention more to he family and to the landscapes within the places where she'll stay; without any doubt the lessons of Leitch allowed the queen to hone her quality and to become a watercolour painter of genuine talent. When the painter Clarkson Stanfield (1793-1867) saw a drawing of hers in the study of Leitch said: ' She paints too good to be just an amateur, she'll soon join the ranks of the professional artists'; obviously he didn't know that the artist in question was the queen!



- picture 14 - The Prince of Wales with a parrot. Watercolour of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, by Queen Victoria, 1843 


- picture 15 - Landscape watercolour practice sheet, painted c.1846


- picture 16 - Bertie, 1849, Watercolour, pen and ink, and pencil, RCIN 980024.ck


- picture 17 - Archie & Annie Macdonald with Daphne a Fanny at the kennel. Watercolour portrait of two Highland children, by Queen Victoria, 31 March 1850


- picture 18 - View of St. James’s Park. Watercolour by Queen Victoria, July 1855. 


- picture 19 - From my Sitting room window. Market Day. Watercolour of market day at Coburg, by Queen Victoria, 29 September – 3 October 1860.


- picture 20 - From The Drawing Room Window, Muckross, August 29, 1861



Only the bereavement that struck Victoria on December 14, 1861, when she suddenly lost her consort Prince Albert, causing her to get closed in herself sinking into an abyss where there wasn't part even for the artistic expression, could stop her painting, but she inevitably will resume with  painting during the summer of 1863, when, as usual she was on holiday at Balmoral ... that for the figurative arts was really a deep-rooted vocation that couldn't remain dormant for a too long time and will continue to delight the most intimate moments of the Queen of the People also as an elderly.



- picture 21 - View from my window at Balmoral by moonlight. Watercolour by Queen Victoria, October 1864



So my anthology of these enchanting images ends ... just, think that they're more than two hundreds those that we've inherited ... yes, I admit, I'm always fascinated to discover little-known aspects of important people who have made our history and I like to present them to you just as I know them, like no history book never has given us the opportunity to learn and appreciate them ... history isn't made up only of dates to remember, of battles, of famous names, but it was also, and above all, lived by people like us who had feelings, emotions, moods ... fallible, vulnerable, with their merits, defects ... imperfect ... real people with their own inner world, that have existed ... really ... just like us.

The time to take my leave of you has arrived and with renewed affection I greet you and wish you all the best well until we meet again, here, among the pages of our past, still to browse. 

See you soon my dear friends and readers 













Notes:

All the drawings and paintings published here belong to the Royal Collection Trust, © HM Queen Elizabeth II

18 commenti:

  1. Such a wonderful collection of watercolours and drawings !
    Another great post, dear Dany, and I love your description in the end ...
    'people ... just like us' ...
    Wishing you a most lovely week,
    Sylvia

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Sylvia
      too often we forget that great characters of our history, such as emperors, kings and queens before than this were human, we learn their names on our books at school, what they've done as historic protagonists to be surely remebered, but how about their private life? They had theirs just as we have ours, and I think it to be so beautiful to think it and to know them, to get in touch with them looking at them as people !
      Thank you so much, my dear, for having noticed and appreciated it, have a very beautiful day ❥

      Elimina
  2. Carissima Daniela, in questa giornata uggiosa , in cui il lago gioca a nascondersi dietro alle nuvole eccezionalmente tanto basse , mi "consolano" la luce e le emozioni che sprigionano gli acquarelli della Regina Vittoria ... chi l'avrebbe mai detto?
    Grazie a te , un saluto affettuoso
    Franca

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Franca
      posso solo immaginare lo spettacolo meraviglioso che si offre ai tuoi occhi quando l'acqua ed il cielo giocano a rincorrersi .. chissà, se Victoria avesse visto un tale scenario, sicuramente ne sarebbe stata ispirata !
      Ti abbraccio carissima e ti ringrazio, le tue parole sono sempre così delicate e ricercate, dettate da un animo dolce e sensibile ... trascorri una lieta serata ✿⊱╮

      Elimina
  3. Wow, amazing watercolors and drawings! :) I am trying to catch up with your exquisite posts, but it's not easy with my mom and dad here, so I am mostly enjoying the fab images you are sharing. xo

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Kia
      my dear, you don't have to worry about it, just enjoy your parents, it's not so usual for you to have them in Scotland beside you and that's surely the most important thing, my writings are here, you can read them whenever you want and you have the time, they don't grow old !!!

      Buon Ferragosto a voi tutti - Happy August Bank Holiday to you all ♡

      Elimina
  4. Carissima amica, che interessante quest'altra passione della Regina Vittoria.. come ti ho già scritto in un altro commento ogni volta che ne riporti gli aspetti meno noti e più personali rendi sempre più umana e meno distaccata questa straordinaria sovrana del passato. E che evoluzione nello stile, davvero si può dire che il maestro può fare la differenza. Un forte abbraccio e un augurio di un sereno Ferragosto

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ laura
      sono così felice di leggere che attraverso i miei posts stai portando a termine il ritratto di questa regina che forse ti è sempre sembrata poco vicina al suo popolo nonostante l'appellativo che le era stato dato ... spesso è colpa dei libri scolastici, ahimè, che ci obbligano a studiare quello che si deve e non ... quello che sarebbe meglio ... credo che forse la storia risulterebbe per molti più accattivante e meno ostica !
      Ti lascio con l'augurio di una notte serena, carissima, e con un bacio, ... quello della buona notte !
      ⊰❀⊱ Grazie, di cuore ⊰❀⊱

      Elimina
  5. I never knew Victoria was so talented. People can surprise you.
    Have a wonderful August and weekend.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ annie
      my sweetest friend, you're the right person to judge her talent in painting you're so very talented too, you paint with so much skill !

      Thank you so much for your precious words, dear, I wish you a joy-filled day ❤

      Elimina
  6. I never knew that Queen Victoria was such a talented artist, Dany! Her painting and sketches are a wonderful journal of her life.

    I hope you are having an enjoyable summer!


    Hugs,

    Pat

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Pat
      you're so right, in fact her pictures make up almost a diary in images instead of words, and furthermore they are so very beautiful !!

      Our summer is going on not too hot, and pleasant, warm during the day but with fresh mornings and nights, the perfect summer for me this year, I wonder how is yours in the rocky Colorado, actually I'd love to know it !

      Enjoy your weekend, my dearest friend, and thank you so much for your visit, you're always far too welcome ღ

      Elimina
  7. I really enjoyed this post, Dany! She was quite a talent! You always share the most interesting and inspiring things - thank you, my friend!

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ June
      your kind words are so important to me, thank you so much for following me with so much interest and affection !
      ❖ I embrace you with all my heart ❖

      Elimina
  8. What a lovely post Dany! I find the autoportrait so stunning. Thank you for sharing at OBW.
    Have a good week, my thoughts are with you ❤︎

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ riitta
      your visits and your comments mean so much to me, dearest, precious friend of mine, thank you for making my day !

      Wishing you all my best for your new week
      I'm sending my dearest hugs to you •♥•♥•

      Elimina
  9. A beautiful post, as always. Queen Victoria was a fascinating woman.

    RispondiElimina
    Risposte
    1. @ Carol
      thanks most sincerely both for visiting and for your so beautiful words of appreciation, sweetest friend !

      ༺❀༻ May your new week be as beautiful as you ༺❀༻

      Elimina

I WHOLEHEARTEDLY THANK YOU FOR YOUR THOUGHTS AND WORDS, SO PRECIOUS TO ME.