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Albert and Victoria’s collection shows photographers’ working methods

Joseph Cundall (1819-95)

'Princess Helena' 1851-60

RCIN 2082392

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Glass plate negative of a portrait painting of Princess Helena (RCIN 405038), created by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73) in 1849. The princess is presented full-length, seated on a bank, facing to the left, her head turned to the viewer. She wears Highland dress and holds a bonnet in her left hand. In the background is an impression of a Highland landscape with a loch.

Painted when the Princess was three years and five months old. Her mother, Queen Victoria, recorded the sitting at Windsor in her Journal. She and Prince Albert 'were detained, watching Winterhalter's picture, a small one, of Lenchen, in her kilt'. 'Lenchen' was the nickname that the family gave to Helena, being derived from the German diminutive of Helena which is Helenchen.

The glass plate negative has been photographed showing the coated side and therefore the image appears laterally reversed. A print from this negative (RCIN 2800664) can be found in an album of photographs collected and arranged by Prince Albert.

  • Creator(s)

    Joseph Cundall (1819-95) (photographer)

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

    Princess Helena (1846-1923)
  • Acquired by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert

  • Object type(s)
      • visual works
        • photographs
          • negatives
            • glass plate negatives
    • Social sciences
      • Ethnology
        • Costume & National dress
          • Costume-Great Britain
            • Costume-Scotland
              • Scottish Highland Dress
    • Arts, Recreation, Entertainment & Sport
      • Art
        • Paintings
          • Paintings-German school