Monday, June 15, 2020

A lovely Kaulbach, safe in private hands

Another blogger claims that this Kaulbach portrait is missing.  The portrait was painted circa 1893 by Friedrich August von Kaulbach (1850-1920).  This portrait was on display in the dining room at the Edinburgh Palace in Coburg for many years.  Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh purchased the house in 1865 but did not use it as a family residence until 1889.

Alfred, the second son of Queen Victoria,  married in 1874 to Grand Duchess Maria Alexandrovna of Russia, daughter of Emperor Alexander II.   He and his family lived in Edinburgh Palace (or Villa Edinburgh)   until 1893, when he succeeded his uncle, Ernst II, as Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.  The family moved to Schloss Ehrenburg, the Ducal residence.  Duke Alfred died from throat cancer in 1900.  His widow, Marie, and their unmarried daughter, Princess Beatrice, moved back to the Edinburgh Palace. 

But due to the growing tensions in Coburg, largely due to the family's ties to Great Britain and Russia (although Marie supported Germany in the first world war),  she left the palace and moved to Tegernsee in Bavaria but after the abdication of Wilhelm II and the other German monarchs,  Marie moved to Zurich, Switzerland, where she died in 1920.

They had five children: Hereditary Prince Alfred (1874-1899),  Princess Marie (Queen Marie of Romania) (1875-1938), Victoria Melita (Grand Duchess of Hesse & By Rhine, after divorce, Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna of Russia) (1876-1936), Alexandra (Princess of Hohenlohe-Langenburg) (1878-1942) and Beatrice (Princess Beatriz of Orleans-Borbon, Duchess of Galliera 1884-1966).

Princess Beatrice, Princess Marie, Princess Alexandra and Princess Victoria Melita
the copyright for this photo belongs to the owner of the painting. It may not be reproduced by anyone.   Thanks,

After the death of Marie, Dowager Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in 1920, the palace was inherited by her third daughter, Alexandra, who sold it in 1937 to Coburg Chamber of Commerce.    In 1945, the palace was confiscated by the American military and used as an American cultural center until 1952, when it was returned to the Chamber of Commerce.

The Kaulbach painting was given to a descendant of the Duke and Duchess of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha and remains in that family.  I have been asked by the owner to not identify where the painting is located except that it is in private hands.   The owner took the photograph and allowed me to publish it on my blog with no other information.  I will respect the wishes of the owner. 

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