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Albert and Victoria’s collection shows photographers’ working methods

Works of art

The royal couple was particularly keen to keep visual records of their favourite sculptures, paintings and other works of art, including portraits of family members by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73), Edwin Landseer (1803-61) and Carl Haag (1820-1915). Many of the glass plate negatives depicting such pieces feature details that provide insights into the early ways of documenting works of art by photography. A notable example is the surroundings of paintings which were usually cropped or masked out in the resulting photographs. These settings incorporate exterior walls of buildings or foliage, revealing that the paintings were regularly photographed outdoors where the lighting conditions were favourable.

As well as recording objects from the Royal Collection for domestic purposes, Prince Albert commissioned photography of artworks for educational reasons. Evidence of this can be found in the photographs of paintings, drawings and prints taken across Europe for the Raphael Collection . While the majority of such negatives are yet to come to light, a handful of examples shown below represent the significance of the project’s use of photography as a reproduction tool for wider scholarship. 

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Photography of paintings

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Photography of paintings

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Photography of paintings

After Edward Henry Corbould (1815-1905)

'The Prince Consort'

After Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-73)

'Queen Victoria and the Princess Royal'

After Sir William Ross (1794-1860)

'Victoire, duchesse de Nemours (1822-1857)'

Joseph Cundall (1819-95)

'Prince Leiningen'

After William Wyon (1795-1851)

Prince Albert's Personal medal

After John Callcott Horsley (1817-1903)

'Princess Beatrice (1857-1944)'

Joseph Cundall (1819-95)

'Princess Helena'

After Leonida Caldesi (1823-91)

Prince Albert Edward and Princess Beatrice

After Leonida Caldesi (1823-91)

Princess Beatrice (1857-1944)

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Prince Arthur'

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Prince Leopold'

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Prince Leopold'

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Victoria, Duchess of Kent'

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Queen Victoria'

After Frank Reynolds (d. 1895)

Victoria, Princess Royal (1840-1901)

Hughes & Mullins (1883-1917)

Prince Albert (1819-61)

After Sir William Ross (1794-1860)

His Royal Highness Prince Albert

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Queen Victoria (1819-1901)

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Queen Victoria'

After? Edward Henry Corbould (1815-1905)

Prince Albert, Prince Consort (1819-61)

After Edward Henry Corbould (1815-1905)

Prince Albert, Prince Consort (1819-61)

After Edward Henry Corbould (1815-1905)

Prince Albert, Prince Consort (1819-61)

After Edward Henry Corbould (1815-1905)

Prince Albert, Prince Consort (1819-61)

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Princess Beatrice (1857-1944)

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Princess Alice, Prince Alfred and Princess Helena

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Prince Albert (1819-1861)

After Baron Carlo Marochetti (1805-67)

'Maharaja Dalip Singh'

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'The Maharaja Duleep Sing [sic]'

After Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520)

‘The Small Cowper Madonna’

After a work by the school of Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520)

'Three female heads'

After Raphael (Urbino 1483-Rome 1520)

'Study of a half-length seated female figure'

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (1841-1910)

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Queen Victoria (1819-1901)'

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Queen Victoria with four eldest children'

After Sir Edwin Landseer (1802-73)

'Victoria, Princess Royal, with Eos'

After Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-73)

'Florinda'

After Sir George Hayter (1792-1871)

'Prince Albert (1819-61)'

After Emil Wolff (1802-79)

'Prince Albert'

After Emil Wolff (1802-79)

'Prince Albert'

After John Partridge (1790-1872)

'Prince Albert (1819-61)'

After Prince Albert, Prince Consort (1819-61)

First draft of Crimean brooch for Florence Nightingale