From left, Michael Hunter (curator) and Rob Flower (general manager) holding the rare painting of Queen Victoria Laying in State by Amedee Forestier. Picture by Robin Crossley.
VISITORS to Osborne House will have the chance to see a rare painting of Queen Victoria lying in state which has gone on display ahead of the 2012 season.
The painting, by Amedee Forestier, was commissioned by Queen Victoria’s eldest son King Edward VII shortly after the Queen’s death in 1901.
It shows the Queen’s coffin in the dining room at Osborne House, which was used as a chapel of rest the week before her interment alongside her husband Prince Albert in the Frogmore Mausoleum at Windsor.
The painting was bought at auction for £2,600 by English Heritage, with help from the Island Friends of Osborne House and will be on display in the spot where the Queen’s coffin was placed.
Curator Michel Hunter said: "We were delighted to acquire the painting, which will add another dimension to the picture we paint to the life of Queen Victoria at Osborne for our visitors."
The artist behind the painting was best known for his carefully researched drawings on archaeological finds, according to an English Heritage spokeswoman.
She said: "The artist travelled to Osborne to faithfully capture the scene. A doctored version of the painting appeared in the London Illustrated News in 1901.
"The Indian attendant standing third from the left was left out of the magazines reproduction. It is believed the alteration was made on the orders of the King."