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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography

Martin Laroche (1814-86)

Charles Kean (1811-68) as King Lear 1858

Hand coloured photograph | 22.5 x 17.8 cm (image) | RCIN 2909988

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Hand coloured photograph of the actor Charles Kean as King Lear in a recreation of the storm scene in Act 3 scene 2 of the homonymous play as represented at the Princess's Theatre in 1858. The actor stands with his right arm up in the air holding wheat and flowers. He wears a blue robe, pink shawl and flowers on his head and on top of his belt. The inscription accompanying the photograph reads 'Blow winds and crack your cheeks'.

King Lear was performed with Charles Kean in the lead role at the Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street in 1858. Queen Victoria watched the performance on three separate occasions at the theatre. Prince Albert gave the photograph to Queen Victoria as a Christmas gift in 1858; the previous year he had given the Queen a series of hand coloured photographs by Laroche of Kean's production of Richard II. 
  • Creator(s)

    Martin Laroche (1814-86) (photographer)

    Martin Laroche (1814-86) (colourist)

    Charles John Kean (1811-68)
  • 22.5 x 17.8 cm (image)

  • Given to Queen Victoria by Prince Albert as a Christmas gift

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Industries, Crafts and Trades
        • Toys and Decorations
          • Theatrical costumes