Queen Victoria

Artist: Thomas Sully (American, Horncastle, Lincolnshire 1783–1872 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)

Date: 1838

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 94 x 58 in. (238.8 x 147.3 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Lent by Mrs. Arthur A. Houghton Jr.

Accession Number: L.1993.45


In an ingenious take on traditional state portraiture, Sully chose the moment of the queen's literal and physical ascendance in order to convey her dignity and humanity, her femininity and strength. Ironically, she could not gracefully climb stairs. "It gives her pain to ascend or descend steps," Sully noted. "I fear [there is] something wrong in the knee."