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Albert and Victoria’s collection shows photographers’ working methods

Joseph Cundall (1819-95)

Charles Kean and Carlotta Leclercq as Leontes and Perdita May 1856

Wet collodion negative | 25.3 x 20.3 cm (whole object) | RCIN 2084931

10" x 8" glass plate negative showing actor Charles Kean and actress Carlotta Leclercq as Leontes and Perdita in The Winter's Tale. Leclercq is wearing a dress with veil and a flower crown and is kneeling in front of Kean, who is wearing an embroidered tunic with material draping over his shoulder and across his forearms. He is holding Leclercq's hands in his. 

Kean stages The Winter's Tale in the Princess's Theatre, Oxford Street in 1856. Queen Victoria viewed the performance there on four separate occasions. Carlotta Leclercq was a regular performer of supporting female roles at The Princess's Theatre. The glass plate negative has been photographed showing the coated side and therefore the image appears laterally reversed. A hand-coloured print from this negative exists in the Collection (RCIN 2909968). Prince Albert's librarian, Ernst Becker, may have arranged the sitting on behalf of the Prince or Queen Victoria.

  • Creator(s)

    Joseph Cundall (1819-95) (photographer)

    Charles John Kean (1811-68)
    Carlotta Leclercq (1838-93)
  • 25.3 x 20.3 cm (whole object)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

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