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Victoria and Albert art at Buckingham Palace

vaVictoria & Albert: Art & Love will undoubtedly change the perspective in which the late Queen and her husband have been viewed.

The exhibition will contain more than 400 paintings, drawings, sculptures and other memorable items collected during the couple’s 20-year marriage.

Over one third of the artworks on display are gifts that were exchanged between them, making the collection a remarkably personal and revealing diorama of their mutual affection and their abiding love of art.

Art & Love represents a range of artists beloved by two different but complementary personalities; the two delighted in presenting one another with specially commissioned paintings or other works by artists the other admired.

The result is a collection that ranges from the sentimental to the classic. A set of jewellery in the shape of orange blossoms, a painting of Victoria as the epitome of an innocent but sensual young woman, and the meticulously detailed realism of “Ramsgate Sands: ‘Life at the Seaside’” by William Powell Frith are just a few of the components in this delightful collage.

Two of Victoria’s favourite artists were Edwin Landseer, whose métier was his paintings of animals, and Franz Xaver Winterhalter, a splendid chronicler of life in the Victorian court. While the royal couple did not have the funds to purchase old masterpieces, they were quick to recognize and encourage artists in their own time and place.

The exhibition will open March 19th in the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. It promises to be a superb and intimate glimpse of the lives of Victoria and Albert, one that has never been seen before.

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