Thomas Sully (American, born England, 1783–1872)
Oil on canvas
94 x 58 in. (238.8 x 147.3 cm)
Lent by Mrs. Arthur A. Houghton Jr. (L.1993.45)
In an ingenious take on traditional state portraiture, Sully chose the moment of the queen's literal and physical ascendance in order to convey her dignity and humanity, her femininity and strength. Ironically, she could not gracefully climb stairs. "It gives her pain to ascend or descend steps," Sully noted. "I fear [there is] something wrong in the knee."