Maurice by John William Bottomley (1816-1900). c, 1855-59 (given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert on her birthday, 24th May 1859). Oil on canvas. 134.6 x 178.4 cm (support, canvas/panel/stretcher external). © Royal Collection Trust; image downloaded by kind permission. The painting was recorded as hanging in the Billiard Rooom at Osborne in 1876, and is now on display in the Queen's Lift Corridor, Osborne House, Isle of Wight. It is signed by Bottomley with his monogram. It is easy to see why Bottomley was often called upon to paint the dogs and other animals in his friends' paintings.

Maurice was a St Bernard, born in 1854 and acquired by the Queen in 1855. St Bernards were popular at this time, although establishing breed standards proved challenging. Prince Albert would certainly have been interested in the finer "properties" of his new acquisition: he is thought to have been the patron of one of London's many "Fancy clubs" (Warboys et al. 47). But it was doubtless Maurice's winning nature that appealed to him most. The new dog is said to have become his favourite St Bernard (see Maurice). In the background here is Windsor Castle. — Jacqueline Banerjee

Links to Related Material


Maurice. Royal Collection Trust. Web. 23 April 2023.

Worboys, Michael, Julie-Marie Strange and Neil Pemberton. The Invention of the Modern Dog: Breed and Blood in Victorian Britain. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018. [Review.]

Last modified 2 May 2010