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Lot 52: Louis Bentabole (French, 1820-1880) The new Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert (II) arriving at Boulogne for Queen Victoria's second State Visit to France, 18th August 1855

Est: £8,000 GBP - £12,000 GBP
Bonhams 3April 13, 2016London, United Kingdom

Item Overview

Description

Louis Bentabole (French, 1820-1880)
The new Royal Yacht Victoria & Albert (II) arriving at Boulogne for Queen Victoria's second State Visit to France, 18th August 1855
signed 'L Bentabole' (lower centre)
oil on canvas
80 x 150.5cm (31 1/2 x 59 1/4in).
Footnotes

After centuries of hostility, the Anglo-French rapprochement began in the 1840s with Queen Victoria's State Visit to France in 1845, the first ever by a reigning British monarch. This paved the way to greatly improved diplomatic relations and prompted, eventually, the historic alliance against Russia. The war in the Crimea began in the spring of 1854 and the novel experience of British and French troops fighting alongside each other needed every encouragement from their respective monarchs. Accordingly, the French Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugenie were invited to London in April 1855 and, following the great success of their visit, the Queen and Prince Albert began preparations for a return State Visit to Paris that summer. Planned to coincide with the Paris International Exhibition in August, Queen Victoria spent the two weeks prior to departure at Osborne, her summer residence on the Isle of Wight where, on 17th August, the new royal paddle yacht Victoria & Albert (II) anchored off the estate along with the various other vessels which were to accompany her on her Channel crossing. The next morning the flotilla departed for Boulogne where it received a huge welcome followed by the triumphant visit to the French capital. The short overnight crossing to Boulogne captivated both the Queen and Prince Albert as far as their new yacht was concerned and she remained the Queen's favourite mode of transport despite her growing obsolescence as the century wore on.

In this colourful evocation of the scene, Bentabole has captured all the excitement of the royal yacht arriving to a tumultuous welcome from the French ships-of-the-line, dressed overall for the occasion and thundering out salute after salute. The curious inclusion of the passenger steamer (lower right) wearing very prominent Spanish colours remains something of an enigma however.

We are grateful to Michael Naxton for his assistance with cataloguing this lot.

Artist or Maker

Auction Details

The Marine Sale

by
Bonhams 3
April 13, 2016, 02:00 PM BST

Montpelier Street Knightsbridge, London, LDN, SW7 1HH, UK