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Albert and Victoria’s collection shows photographers’ working methods

Joseph Cundall (1819-95)

Mrs Charles Kean (1805-80) as Hermione May 1856

Wet collodion negative | 25.3 x 20.3 cm (whole object) | RCIN 2084933

10" x 8" glass plate negative showing actress Ellen Tree (Mrs Charles Kean) as Hermione, representing the Statue in The Winter's Tale. She is standing on a plinth over a patterned carpet, wearing a white 'peplos'. Plain background behind her. Tree's pose appears to represent the scene when the statue is unveiled, revealing Queen Hermione.

Charles Kean staged his production of The Winter's Tale at the Princess's Theatre in 1856. Queen Victoria viewed the performance at the theatre on four separate occasions. The glass plate negative has been photographed showing the coated side and therefore the image appears laterally reversed. It is possible that Ernst Becker, Prince Albert's Librarian, arranged the sitting with the photographer on behalf of the Prince or Queen Victoria. A hand-coloured print from this negative exists in the Collection (RCIN 2909969).

  • Creator(s)

    Joseph Cundall (1819-95) (photographer)

    Ellen Kean (1805-80)
  • 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