Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2015
Princess Helena (1846-1923), later Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein
Although by 1860 Annie Dixon was well established as a miniature painter, this miniature was one of her earliest royal commissions. It does not yet display the fully confident style of which she was capable, although many of her characteristic hallmarks are evident, such as the warm flesh tones, particularly in the forehead, and the use of yellow in the sky. On 11 January 1860 Queen Victoria reported to the Princess Royal that ‘Miss Dickson is painting heads (separate) of Lenchen & darling “Pinct Betiss” wh. will be very pretty’ . When they were complete, she sent the miniatures of Helena and Beatrice (this miniature and 422018), together with one of Louise (420324) to her daughter for inspection. The Crown Princess was not impressed with the miniature of Princess Helena: ‘I think them lovely, though I do not think Lenchen’s like, she is a 1000 times prettier, I think the eyes too much drawn up at the corners’.