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Prince Albert used photography to document exhibitions and works of art

Hugh Owen (1808-97)

The Great Exhibition, 1851: Lion in Love by Geefs 1851

Salted paper print | 17.6 x 21.3 cm (image) | RCIN 2800152

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Photograph of a plaster sculpture in which the power of beauty over savage nature is allegorically represented by a reclining lion allowing a nude female to sit on its back and cut its claws with nail clippers. The sculpture is by Guillaume Geefs (1805-83) and was exhibited at the Great Exhibition.

This photograph is from Volume IV (RCIN 2800003) of ' Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851: Reports by the Juries on the Subjects in the Thirty Classes into which the Exhibition was Divided'. The incredibly successful Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, commonly known as the Great Exhibition, ran from May to October 1851. At the exhibition's conclusion, over 100 copies of the four volume 'Reports by the Juries' were distributed to foreign governments and notable participants. The reports consist of the juries' comments and assessments of the works displayed in the exhibition. The idea and decision to illustrate the reports with photographs is attributed to Prince Albert (1819-61).

  • Creator(s)

    Hugh Owen (1808-97) (photographer)

  • 17.6 x 21.3 cm (image)

  • 'Lion in love'

  • Presented to Queen Victoria

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    Subject(s)
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Plastic arts
        • Sculpture
          • Statues
    • Philosophy & Psychology
      • Philosophy
        • Allegory
    • Natural Sciences & Mathematics
      • Zoology
        • Animals
          • Mammals
            • Carnivorous mammals
              • Felines
                • Lions