Prince Albert and the Gallery

Prince Albert (1819–1861) shared an enthusiasm for art with his wife Queen Victoria. He was one of the first collectors in Britain to buy so-called primitive Italian and German painting.

Prince Albert had a keen appreciation of painting. His largest acquisition, however, came about by default. In 1847 he acted as guarantor on a loan for one of his relatives – Prince Ludwig von Oettingen-Wallerstein (1791-1870). As surety, Prince Albert was given a collection of German, Italian and Netherlandish paintings. When the loan fell through, Prince Albert acquired all 100 works.

Though this was not an act of connoisseurship, there were some high quality works among this collection including a triptych by Giusto de’ Menabuoi, and Pintoricchio’s Virgin and Child.

In line with his wishes, after Prince Albert's death Queen Victoria offered the collection to the nation. Twenty-five of these paintings were selected by the National Gallery. Three others are currently on loan from HM The Queen.

Prince Albert's collection at the National Gallery

Fra Angelico: 'Blessing Redeemer'
Blessing Redeemer
Fra Angelico
Workshop of Dirk Bouts: 'Christ Crowned with Thorns'
Christ Crowned with Thorns
Workshop of Dirk Bouts
Workshop of Dirk Bouts: 'Mater Dolorosa'
Mater Dolorosa
Workshop of Dirk Bouts
Workshop of Dirk Bouts: 'The Virgin and Child'
The Virgin and Child
Workshop of Dirk Bouts
Gentile da Fabriano: 'The Quaratesi Madonna'
The Quaratesi Madonna
Gentile da Fabriano
Stephan Lochner: 'Three Saints'
Three Saints
Stephan Lochner
Hans Memling: 'Virgin and Child'
Virgin and Child
Hans Memling
Workshop of Quinten Massys: 'The Crucifixion'
The Crucifixion
Quinten Massys
Workshop of the Master of 1518: 'The Crucifixion'
The Crucifixion
Associate of Jan de Beer
Attributed to the Workshop of the Master of the Female Half-Lengths: 'A Female Head'
A Female Head
Master of the Female Half-Lengths
Style of the Master of the Female Half-Lengths: 'Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ'
Saint Christopher carrying the Infant Christ
Workshop of the Master of the Female Half-Lengths
Workshop of the Master of the Female Half-Lengths: 'Saint John on Patmos'
Saint John on Patmos
Master of the Female Half-Lengths
Workshop of Master of the Female Half-Lengths: 'The Rest on the Flight into Egypt'
The Rest on the Flight into Egypt
Master of the Female Half-Lengths
Master of the Life of the Virgin: 'The Presentation in the Temple'
The Presentation in the Temple
Master of the Life of the Virgin
Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece: 'Saints Peter and Dorothy'
Saints Peter and Dorothy
Master of the Saint Bartholomew Altarpiece
Netherlandish: 'A Girl Writing'
A Young Woman Writing
After Jan Sanders van Hemessen
Netherlandish: 'The Magdalen'
The Magdalen
Workshop of the Master of 1518
Netherlandish: 'The Virgin and Child in a Landscape'
The Virgin and Child in a Landscape
Albert Cornelis and Associates
Francesco Pesellino: 'Saints Mamas and James'
Saints Mamas and James
Francesco Pesellino and Fra Filippo Lippi and Workshop
Style of Martin Schongauer: 'The Virgin and Child in a Garden'
The Virgin and Child in a Garden
Style of Martin Schongauer