Queen Victoria (1819–1901)

Image credit: Ben Uri Collection

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Hart's portrait of Queen Victoria, wearing the badge of her office (the Order of the Garter), emphasises her youth and imperial authority. It is highly unlikely to have been a commission, as a little stiffness to the figure indicates. Painted five years into Victoria’s reign and two years into Hart’s Academicianship, it conveys his social and artistic integration with Britain. As the first Jewish Royal Academician, it identifies him with the ultimate symbol of the establishment. It can also be seen as a self-portrait – the outsider as an insider – signifying Hart’s achievements as a painter and perhaps satisfying his aspirations of belonging to the British establishment and the artistic elite.

Ben Uri Gallery & Museum



Queen Victoria (1819–1901)




oil on canvas


H 119.5 x W 77.5 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

on long-term loan

Work type



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Ben Uri Gallery & Museum

108a Boundary Road, St John's Wood, London, Greater London NW8 0RH England

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