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Prince Albert was an early adopter of portrait photography

Martin Laroche (1814-86)

Mr Walter Lacy (1809-98) as Gaunt 1857

Hand coloured photograph | 22.5 x 18.3 cm (image) | RCIN 2909975

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Hand coloured photograph of actor Walter Lacy as John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, in the costume he wore in Act 2 scene 1 of 'King Richard II', as performed at the Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street. Lacy is seated on a bed with its covers bearing the Plantagenet colours, with his right arm to his head. Another male actor, dressed as a clergyman who administers last rites, stands in the background on the left hand side.

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)

    Walter Lacy (1809-98)
  • 22.5 x 18.3 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