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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography

Martin Laroche (1814-86)

Mr and Mrs Charles Kean as King Richard II and his Queen 1857

Hand coloured photograph | 22.5 x 17.9 cm (image) | RCIN 2909986

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Hand coloured photograph of actors Charles Kean and his wife Mrs Charles Kean (previously Ellen Tree) as King Richard II and his Queen in Act 5 scene 1 of the homonymous play, as performed at the Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street in London. Both characters wear mourning dress with the Queen crying on left shoulder of the King.

In February 1857, Richard II was performed by Kean's company in St George's Hall. Kean then opened the production of Shakespeare's play in March 1857 at the Princess's Theatre in Oxford Street. Queen Victoria and her family visited the theatre to watch the production five times where it made a lasting impression on Princess Victoria, the Queen's eldest daughter. This photograph and other hand coloured photographs of the cast of the play were purchased by Prince Albert for Queen Victoria in 1857 as a Christmas present.   
  • Creator(s)

    Martin Laroche (1814-86) (photographer)

    Martin Laroche (1814-86) (colourist)

    Ellen Kean (1805-80)
    Charles John Kean (1811-68)
  • 22.5 x 17.9 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