The present lot relates to an important portrait of the Prince Consort that Queen Victoria commissioned John Lucas to paint in 1841-42, to be presented to King Louis Philippe of France. Work began in September 1841, and it is probable that this version, dated 1842, which has a directness and intimacy elusive to copies and retrospective works, was painted from the same series of sittings.
Prince Albert is presented in the uniform of the Scots Fusilier Guards, of which he had been made a colonel in April 1842 - the regimental badge of the thistle can been seen in the silver embroidery on his collar. The sash over his shoulder is that of the Garter, as is the upper breast-star, while the neck-badge is the Order of the Golden Fleece of Spain.
Lucas was highly respected as a portrait painter, who won a number of Royal commissions. Among his sitters were the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince George of Cambridge, the Duchess of Kent, Queen Adelaide, and her sister, the Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach. The artist, who exhibited at the Royal Academy almost every year from 1828-1874, also produced a celebrated portrait of Lord Palmerston.