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Albert and Victoria’s collection shows photographers’ working methods

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Florinda' 1860-70

RCIN 2084687

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Glass plate negative of 'Florinda', a painting created by Franz Winterhalter in 1852 (RCIN 404860). The work depicts Florinda and her female companions preparing to bathe in the palace gardens watched by King Rodrigo, who gazes through the bushes. A fair-haired girl in the centre holds a tress of hair above Florinda. The subject was inspired by the legend of the eighth-century Visigothic king Rodrigo of Hispania about Rodrigo’s seduction of the beautiful maiden Florinda ('La Cava') that initiated the Arab conquest of Spain.

Queen Victoria purchased the painting for Prince Albert in April 1852, writing that she had seen, ‘a most beautiful picture by Winterhalter, his favourite work, which I have purchased for Albert’s birthday, but which can be no secret, as it has to go to the Exhibition. It is a most lovely picture containing a group of beautiful women, ½ life size’ (Journal, 3 April, 1852). The painting was hung in the Queen’s Sitting Room at Osborne House, initially without a frame (Journal, 18 July, 1854).

The glass plate negative has been photographed showing the coated side and therefore the image appears laterally reversed. A print from this negative exists in the Collection, RCIN 2800694.
  • Creator(s)

    After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73) (artist)

    Dr Ernst Becker (1826-88) (photographer)

  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
          • negatives
            • glass plate negatives
    Subject(s)
    • Science, Medicine and Technology
      • Agriculture and related techniques
        • Gardening
          • Gardens
    • People
      • Women
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Architecture
        • Domestic architecture
          • Castles