You Can Buy Four Drawings by a Young Queen Victoria

The sketches, which are heading to auction this week, showcase the teenage royal’s devotion to the arts

Knight sketch
Victoria created this 1833 ink sketch when she was 14 years old. It's inscribed, "original sketch by the Royal Highness the Princess Victoria. Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

Queen Victoria is remembered for her long tenure as monarch, which lasted from 1837 to 1901, and the major changes the British Empire underwent during her reign. But the queen, a devoted supporter of the arts, was also a prolific artist, creating detailed sketches and watercolors throughout her life.

This week, four drawings by Victoria are going to auction at Roseberys in London. The sketches will be sold as part of an album featuring works by other artists. Together, they are expected to fetch between $1,900 to $3,170.

“Victoria often took those close to her, such as family members and pets (of which she was very fond), as her subjects,” according to the Royal Collection Trust, the charity that runs the British royal family’s art collection. “Her works also reflect her many enthusiasms. As princess and then queen she enjoyed visiting the theater to see operas and ballets, and often sketched the scenes and actors she admired.”

All four artworks going to auction date to the 1830s. Victoria made three of them in 1833, when she was a 14-year-old princess. Each depicts a different figure on horseback: Two are women, while the third is a knight.

The fourth sketch came about five years later, soon after Victoria took the throne. Titled A Seated Woman With a Crown and Sash, it is signed simply, “by Her Majesty.”

“These slightly early drawings show that maybe she was still learning a lot, that she was still honing her craft,” Charlotte Russell, Roseberys’ head of sale for old master, British and European pictures, tells CNN’s Rosa Rahimi. “She was very curious and keen as an artist.”

Victoria began taking drawing lessons as a young girl and eventually was taught by renowned artists such as Edwin LandseerWilliam Leighton LeitchFranz Xaver Winterhalter and George Hayter.

Queen Victoria
An 1838 drawing by Queen Victoria depicting a woman with a sash and crown Roseberys Fine Art Auctioneers & Valuers

Hayter also served as the queen’s court painter and created her coronation portrait. The album at Roseberys was likely assembled by Hayter’s daughter-in-law, Augusta, according to the lot listing.

This isn’t the first time Victoria’s art has gone to auction. Last year, Hansons London sold two of her paintings, each depicting a vase of flowers, for a collective $25,000. The queen likely made these artworks later in her life—possibly after her husband, Prince Albert, died in 1861.

“Perhaps painting those floral canvases and creating other works of art provided a little contentment and happiness in the years that followed Albert’s death,” said Chris Kirkham, associate director of Hansons London, in a 2023 statement, adding: “We hear a lot about King Charles’ paintings, so it’s particularly interesting to see work by his ancestor Queen Victoria.”

The Roseberys auction will take place on July 9. Other items for sale include drawings by George Hayter and an invitation to George IV’s coronation.

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