The Wilson - Cheltenham Art Gallery & Museum
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Wilson showcases international exhibition Queen Victoria in Paris with never-seen-before images
17 June – 15 October 2017
Capturing the historic state visit to Paris and the first by a British monarch in over 400 years, Queen Victoria in Paris brings together over 40 stunning watercolours from the Royal Collection Trust and opens to the public at The Wilson Art Gallery and Museum Cheltenham from 17 June 2017.
In August 1855, Queen Victoria made a momentous state visit to the French capital just 40 years after the defeat of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Battle of Waterloo at the point when France and Britain had entered a military alliance against Russia in the Crimean War. The Queen's visit to Paris was to celebrate this remarkable turnaround in Anglo-French relations, but also marked a close personal friendship between Queen Victoria and the French Emperor Napoleon III.
This exhibition brings together 44 watercolours created for Queen Victoria to commemorate the events of the visit, half of which have never been exhibited before. Showing scenes of the splendid celebrations held in the Queen's honour, the watercolours capture this unique moment in British and French history and also include some watercolours and a drawing by Queen Victoria herself.
Julie Finch Chief Executive of The Cheltenham Trust which runs the gallery said:
“One of our highlights of the year, the Trust is delighted to be able to bring art of international significance to Cheltenham for the benefit of residents and visitors. In an age before modern press photography this historic royal collection provides a fascinating form of reportage capturing and sharing with the world the new Anglo-French partnership as the former enemies turned their forces eastward to rebuff the massing Russian army in the Crimean War.”
Providing historical and artistic context Queen Victoria in Paris offers a full programme of activities and talks throughout the summer and autumn running from 17 June – 15 October 2017. This exhibition also opens alongside Fakes: The Great Reveal this summer.
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