Queen Victoria

Thomas Sully American

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 756

This impressive coronation portrait of Alexandrina Victoria (1819–1901), young Queen Victoria, shown ascending the throne, is the highlight of Thomas Sully’s successful career. The artist established himself in Philadelphia as one of the finest portraitists in the country and created a vogue for full-length portraiture, especially through his highly engaging and flattering depictions of women. The commission to paint the young royal came from the Philadelphia chapter of the Society of the Sons of Saint George, a benevolent association committed to supporting English emigrants and their families. Sully accepted the Saint George commission, which took him to London, but did not complete the portrait until his return to Philadelphia, in the fall of 1838. The artist conceived of the collaboration in a series of sittings with the queen, during which he took sketches of her robes and figural positions he envisioned for the final work. Many of these studies are also in The Met’s collection.

#4568. Queen Victoria

Queen Victoria, Thomas Sully (American, Horncastle, Lincolnshire 1783–1872 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), Oil on canvas, American

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