Queen Victoria's sketches and watercolours go on display at Windsor Castle


Intimate sketches by Queen Victoria of her children will be one of the highlights of a new exhibition featuring artwork by the royal family through the centuries.

Britain's kings and queens and their families have been inspired to paint, sketch and sculpt for generations, and some of their efforts will go on display at Windsor Castle from Saturday.

A selection of pages from Victoria's sketchbooks will be exhibited, including portraits of her children and atmospheric landscapes made during her holidays at Osborne House on the Isle of Wight and Balmoral Castle in Scotland.

The exhibition also contains a linocut of a circus horse, made in the 1930s by the Queen when she was a young princess.

The Royal Paintbox exhibition, which runs from June 22 to January 26, accompanies the ITV documentary of the same name that was presented by the Prince of Wales earlier in the year.

Charles has painted throughout his adult life, during holidays and when his official diary allows.

He often paints in watercolour in the open air, particularly on the Queen's Balmoral estate in Scotland, and takes pleasure in the specific challenges of observing and then recording his observations.

The exhibition features 15 watercolours by the Prince including a number that show the same Highland landscapes painted by his great-great-great grandmother Queen Victoria, including views of the Cairngorms and Lochnagar.

The story told in the exhibition, which brings together works from the Royal Collection and from Charles' collection, begins during the aftermath of the English Civil War.

It features work by Charles I's nephew, the military leader Prince Rupert of the Rhine, who depicted the execution of St John the Baptist in the 1658 print The Great Executioner.

Drawings by George III are featured and they mostly date from the late 1750s, just before his accession in 1760.

They include a Design for a Corinthian Temple at Kew and a View of Syon House from Kew Gardens.

The King's daughters were also tutored in art and painted and drew throughout their lives.

In 1785 George III's second daughter, Princess Augusta, made an etching after a drawing by Leonardo da Vinci from the magnificent group of the artist's work that entered the Royal Collection during the reign of Charles II.

Leonardo's drawing and the Princess's etching will be shown side by side in the exhibition.

In the 19th century, the teaching and practice of watercolour painting became widespread and professional artists, such as Richard Westall, George Hayter, Edward Lear and William Leighton Leitch, were employed to teach Queen Victoria and her family.

The exhibition includes teaching sheets of watercolour studies by the Queen copied from Leitch.