The First of May 1851
This picture shows the Duke of Wellington offering a gift to Queen Victoria, Prince Albert and Prince Arthur, in a scene resembling the Adoration of the Magi. The painting was commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate the 1st of May 1851, which held a threefold significance: it was the first birthday of Prince Arthur, the eighty-second birthday of prince’s godfather the Duke of Wellington, and the opening day of the Great Exhibition. Prince Arthur holds Lily-of-the-valley, a traditional 1st of May gift said to bring good luck. The Crystal Palace can be seen in the background.
The First of May 1851 — Franz Xaver WINTERHALTER