Thanks to Queen Victoria's longevity, Alexandra was Princess of Wales for nearly 38 years. And because Edward was only 68 when he died, she was queen for little more than nine years. A small flurry of portrait activity followed her coronation.
Back in those times, and to a considerable degree today, commissioned portraits of royalty feature formal poses and conservative representation. So it was with Alexandra. Photographic and painted portraits of her with few exceptions showed her face-on or with her head only slightly turned, usually favoring her left side.
Artistically, portraits of Alexandra offer little interest. Nevertheless, I hope that showing some here will provide some context to paintings of similar vintage that I post about.
To set the scene.
Winterhalter was no stranger to portraying royalty. This painting, in the Royal Collection, was painted soon after her marriage. A curiosity is his treatment of the royal nose, which looks rather lumpy here. Yet photographs show Alexandra with a nose of regular shape. It's hard to image that Winterhalter made a mistake, but absent more information, that seems to be the case.
This photo was taken years after Winterhalter's portrait. Here Alexandra sports a nose with a straight bridge.
Longstaff was an Australian artist.