Princess Victoria, Aged Nine, In A Landscape by Stephen Catterson Smith

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Princess Victoria, Aged Nine, In A Landscape by Stephen Catterson Smith

Painting NamePrincess Victoria Aged Nine In A Landscape
Painter NameStephen Catterson Smith
Place of CreationEngland
Size30.5 x 39.4 cm (12.01" x 15.51")
TechniqueOil
MaterialPanel
Current LocationPrivate collection

This fine work of art was drawn by an adept English-Irish artist Stephen Catterson Smith. He was born in 1806 in North Yorkshire, England.  He was a distinguished artist, who drew outstanding paintings of royal family of England.

The represented painting is an oil-on-panel work. It’s a fine depiction of Queen Victoria of England at the age of 9. Look at the delicacy of her body. Her style of standing with a certain grace makes her more attractive and innocent. The big hat covering the whole face from backside distinguishes the beauty of the face from the rest of the picture. The red straps on her dress’ shoulders, which seem like little roses, are hinting the tenderness of the little girl. We can see her playfulness, when she tries to pick a flower from the ground.  Every small detail of the figure successfully indicates the artist’s intention to show the little queen as soft, tender and beautiful as a flower.

The scene around the girl is making the whole picture more beautiful and close to reality, as if artist drew the picture when she was really standing in that bushy land. The very natural portrayal of trees, bushes and scenery at the far behind convinces us to believe in the reality of the painting. Well, there is also a little fear in the background, where a jungle starts at the end of the road. We can assume the fear of wild animals. But, that’s an individual’s assumption.

Carrying the momentum of Renaissance, Princess Victoria, Aged Nine is an oil on panel that expresses landscape beauty in tandem with the innocence of a 9-year-old confident princess. It is a work by Stephen Catterson Smith, in which he reminisces with the little princess in much the same way we remember her facially. This extra devotion shows, and Smith has been careful with his strokes when using the expensive panel for this royal tribute.

Although oil on panel is a typical rhetoric tool among French impressionists, I could say that the distinctly different influence was already showing when Smith dedicated his hours to the future British monarch. In those days, many thought her far from being a Queen like the one we came to know later, but Smith had the advantage of bringing her to hail, with her standing in the sudden beam of light, while the sun has faded long ago in the richly painted background.

It is not all about darkness in the backdrop, as the pre-puberty Victoria is learning to appreciate the mellow light of yellow moon, or is yet to. However, she already has the penchant for plucking out a little blue flower growing rampantly around her swishing skirt. While we may marvel at the materials cost like in any other artistic tribute to someone of the royal family, I would never fail to remark on the hours Smith gave on young Victoria’s apparently simple dress.

The large portrait may have a number of areas in which the artist has almost defected from the Renaissance camp of artists, but it was perhaps necessary when painting someone only nine. Besides, the strokes are so well done, that this oil on panel brings out something pastel-like and childish indeed!

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