Elisabeth Jerichau-Baumann

(Danish, 1819-1881)

The Stocking-Mender

circa 1868

Of Royal Interest - from the personal Collection of Queen Victoria

Exhibited at The Berlin Academy of Arts (1868), under the title "Strumpfstopferin by Elisabeth Jerichau"

where purchased by Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia.

also exhibited under the title: 'Strømpestoppersken'

also called: 'Peasant Woman of North Germany'


Oil on Canvas

14 inches by 10 inches (23 inches by 19 inches framed)
In a period giltwood frame with extensive provenance details to the reverse.



Catalogued by Sir Arthur Durrant in his Osborne House Inventory of 1876, p.330, no.513, as follows:


An interior ; whole length figure, seated, and mending a stocking.

No. 513.  Canvas.  1 ft. 2in. x 10in.

Given to the Queen by the Crown Princess of Prussia, Christmas, 1868."

(additional pencil notation circa 1931 reading: "HRH Pcss Christian")


This superb rendition of European peasant life, depicting a young girl darning a stocking in the traditional costume of North Sealand, Denmark, was exhibited at The Berlin Royal Academy of Art in 1868 as "Strumpfstopferin" or "The Stocking-Mender". The present work was originally purchased likely in September or October of 1868 at the Berlin Exhibition by Vicky, The Crown Princess of Prussia and was gifted to Queen Victoria by her eldest daughter while vacationing at Osborne House in Christmas 1868. It subsequently hung at Osborne until Victoria's death at that (her favourite) residence in 1901, it became property of Edward VII who converted Osborne House into a convalescent hospital during WWI at which time the work was removed from the Main Wing-First Floor of Osborne House, then became property of George V who gifted it, between 1910-1923, to Her Royal Highness Princess Christian of Schomberg House (London), who then bequeathed the work to her daughters HRH Princess Helena Victoria and Princess Marie Louise.This small-scale masterpiece was acclaimed as one of "her principal works" (as listed in Jerichau-Baumann's 1881 obituary). Jerichau-Baumann was dubbed "the only Danish painter to attain international fame" [Gaze, D. Dictonary of Woman Artists, vol.1, 1997] and she was referred to as "the only real man in the Dusseldorf school" where she studied in the 1830s [Kuehn, J. Female Poetics of Empire, 2014]. Her patrons included Napoleon III, Empress Eugenie, Queen Victoria, The Dowager Queen of Denmark, and she was well represented at The World Fair in Paris 1867 and 1878, The International Exhibition of London (1862), exhibited at The Bridgewater Gallery (London) in 1852 after which some of her works were purchased by Queen Victoria in a private presentation at Buckingham Palace (June 1852). She also exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts (Copenhagen), Royal Academy of Arts (London), Paris Salons, and Dublin International Exhibition.Queen Victoria had a deep respect for Jerichau-Baumann, both as an accomplished artist and - most especially - as a female businesswoman thriving in the midst of a male-dominated society. Two works which Queen Victoria acquired from Jerichau-Baumann still remain property of Queen Elizabeth II as part of The Royal Collection Trust (UK) - "Princess Alexandra of Denmark" (RCIN 402482) and "The Norwegian Widow" (RCIN 403833); the latter remains at Osborne House, where it hung during Victoria's reign.


Given to Queen Victoria by her eldest daughter Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia, Christmas 1868; Collection of Edward VII, at Osborne House until 1904 when removed from the Main Wing-First Floor which was converted to a convalescent home by 1911; Collection of George V; gifted to Her Royal Highness Princess Christian of Schleswig-Holstein (third daughter of Queen Victoria) between 1910-1923; bequeathed to HRH Princess Helena Victoria and HRH Princess Marie Louise (grand-daughters of Queen Victoria), Schomberg House, London, after 1923; Collection of Lou Goldberg (1921-2015), Montreal, Canada.

Many thanks to Dr Jerzy Miskowiak, author of Jerichau-Baumann's upcoming catalogue raisonne, for his assistance in cataloguing this picture. Also many thanks to The Royal Collection Trust UK at St James's Palace and Michael Hunter, Curator of Osborne House, for their assistance in tracing the provenance of this work within the Royal Collection.


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