Swann looks like he was a greyhound. Painted in watercolour by Queen Victoria in the 1850s – the original can be seen in Kensington Palace. I would have taken better notes on its provenance but I was being hustled round the palace by a pre-teen who I thought would enjoy the fashion exhibition. How wrong can you be? Anyway, the watercolour of Swann was painted when Prince Albert was still alive. I found myself wondering if the Queen painted much, if at all, once she was sewn into her widow’s weeds in perpetuity.
I think she has done a good job – the anatomy and musculature of the hound work well and she has the head. It’s a shame if she gave up painting. I bet she could do a good pony as well.
I have taken some liberties with Her Majesty’s original work, adjusting the brightness and contrast levels, as the photo was poor, and the shot quickly taken in a very dark room. They keep all those rooms dark; dark and very, very hot. This was a pre-Christmas, pre-storm hitting the country the following day trip. It’s a shame when these things arrived at for the enjoyment of all miss the intended spot, but as well as learning Queen Victoria had a dog that looks awfully like mine, I also spotted some green parakeets on Bayswater Road. Sometimes you just have to enjoy the little things that come up unexpectedly, rather than the big ones you planned.
Note to self: eldest daughter detesteth history…