Sunday, 14 March 2010

Victoria & Albert

I first mentioned Victoria & Albert: Art & Love a month ago (CLICK). This major exhibition opens tomorrow at The Queen's Gallery, Buckingham Palace. To mark its opening, Fiona Bruce presents Victoria: A Royal Love Story on BBC One at 7pm today 14 March (CLICK). Look at this detail from Franz Xaver Winterhalter's The Family of Queen Victoria (1846), commissioned by Queen Victoria herself. What could have been merely a formal portrait of the royal family is transformed by Winterhalter's use of hands to show affection. There is the Queen's hand on the shoulder of her eldest son and his hand resting on her lap, then Prince Albert's hand reaching for, but not quite touching, his wife's hand. (His other hand points to his youngest child.) Albert's hands also indicate the royal succession.


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