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Prince Albert collected photographs of places significant to him

James Mack (1827-64)

Mujiks or serfs Sep 1856

Albumen print | 15.5 x 14.2 cm (image) | RCIN 2945160

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The Coronation of Alexander II, planned for September 1856, was regarded as a diplomatic event of critical importance due to the recent conclusion of the Crimean War. A special diplomatic mission representing Queen Victoria was therefore sent to attend the ceremony. Led by Lord Granville, the party also included a photographer, Corporal Mack of the Royal Engineers, chosen to document the visit. This is one of the nineteen photographs that Mack personally presented to Queen Victoria on their return. The Queen described him as 'a remarkably intelligent, well educated young man'.

Serfdom, a form of slavery which tied peasants to landowners and had been practised since medieval times, was only abolished in Russia by Alexander II in 1861. This image is therefore remarkable also from an historical perspective as it was only after Emancipation that peasants started appearing as subjects in photographs.

  • Creator(s)

    James Mack (1827-64) (photographer)

  • 15.5 x 14.2 cm (image)

  • Presented to Queen Victoria by the photographer on behalf of Lord Panmure (later known as Lord Dalhousie) on 11 November 1856.

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Industries, Crafts and Trades
        • Clothing
          • Fur (clothing)
    • Places
      • Europe
        • Russia