Valentine Prinsep (English, 1838-1904)
Pre-Raphalite Beauty with a Crown of Flowers
Oil on canvas, signed lower right and dated “1876”; framed in the oval
Painting: 12” x 10”
Frame: 20” x 18”
Valentine Cameron Prinsep was born in Calcutta, the son of an Indian civil servant and was educated in Haileybury (Hertford, England). He became a painter of portraits, historical subjects and genre scenes.
In 1850, the artist George Frederick Watts came to live with the Prinsep family and encouraged young Prinsep to turn to painting instead of the civil service. Prinsep began his art studies under Watts (who became recognized as one of the leading Victorian painters) and upon meeting Dante Gabriel Rossetti became influenced by Pre-Raphaelitism and eventually came under the influence of Lord Leighton. He traveled to Italy with Burne-Jones and met Browning in Rome.
Prinsep exhibited annually at the Royal Academy from 1862-1904 and also at many of the other English galleries. In 1876 (the year this portrait was painted) he was commissioned by the Indian government to paint the historical ceremonial gathering held by Lord Lytton to proclaim Queen Victoria Empress of India.
Prinsep was extremely talented and versatile, publishing an account of his visit to India as well as two plays and two novels. His marriage to well-connected Florence Leyland made him very rich.
Benezit, E. "Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs"
Johnson, J. and A Greutzner. "The Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940"
Wood, Christopher. "Dictionary of British Art. Vol. IV, Victorian Painters"