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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography

Martin Laroche (1814-86)

Mr Cooper (1793-1870) as York 1857

Hand coloured photograph | 22.7 x 18.2 cm (image) | RCIN 2909977

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Hand coloured photograph of actor John Cooper as Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, wearing the costume that he wore in Act 2 scene 3 of 'King Richard II', as performed at the Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street. Cooper wears a black velvet mantle over a richly decorated coat and a red cap with feather. Cooper gesticulates to another character off frame who is possibly Bolingbroke played by John Ryder. Two other male actors stand in the background, a man in armour with a double axe and a man with a crossbow. 

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)

    John Cooper (1793-1870)
  • 22.7 x 18.2 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