Location: Bedroom of the Duchess of Aosta
The portraits of King Victor Emmanuel III and Queen Elena of Montenegro were painted by Gino Parin, commissioned by Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, who took up residence in Miramare Castle in 1931. The artist worked for five months to complete the portraits, a task that was complicated by the impossibility of having the rulers sit for him in person, leading Parin to work from photographs.
The setting of the two portraits evokes Miramare itself, with the King wearing a military uniform surrounded by a garden with laurel bushes and green hills sloping down to the sea in the background. The Queen, on the other hand, sits indoors. Her high-backed armchair, upholstered in red velvet with golden trim, resembles those in the Castle’s Throne Room when examined up close.
These two portraits were originally located in the Reception Hall, as documented in photographs from the time. It is interesting to note the sumptuous gilded frames used for the paintings. They once held the portraits of Emperor Franz Josef I and his consort, Empress Elisabeth, which now hang in the Audience Room. In fact, the inscription reading ‘KAISERIN EL..’ can still be seen on the lower edge of the frame on the King’s portrait, just below the gilding.