La Siesta by Franz Xaver Winterhalter

This work was purchased by Queen Victoria and placed by the Queen in her dressing room at Osborne House where she would have seen it every day during her many visits to the house.


Oil on canvas
58 x 44 cm
Art Fund grant:
£44,886 ( Total: £73,750)
Acquired in:

The small intimate painting depicts three young women shading themselves from the midday sun in the Mediterranean south. Winterhalter was one of the foremost portrait painters of the mid-nineteenth century. He was in great demand at all the royal courts of Europe and painted over a hundred portraits for Queen Victoria alone. This work was the first one purchased by The Queen and she named this style of genre scene a 'fancy picture'. Osborne House still has nine portraits by the artist but all the 'fancy pictures' by Winterhalter which originally hung in the house have since been removed.


Queen Victoria, 1841; by descent to Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught; by descent to his daughter, Lady (Victoria) Patricia Ramsay; Christie's, 1972; Sir David Scott; Sotheby's, 2008.

Venue details

Osborne House York Avenue, East Cowes Isle of Wight PO32 6JX 01983 200022

Entry details

Free with National Art Pass (standard entry £14.30)

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