The Royal Family on the terrace of Osborne House

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© National Portrait Gallery, London

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The Royal Family on the terrace of Osborne House

by Leonida Caldesi
albumen print, 1857
6 1/4 in. x 8 3/8 in. (159 mm x 213 mm)
Purchased, 1977
Primary Collection

Artistback to top

  • Leonida Caldesi (1822-1891), Photographer. Artist or producer associated with 54 portraits.

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This portraitback to top

This portrait group shows Victoria and Albert and their nine children at Osborne House. Victoria holds Princess Beatrice on her lap. The photograph was shown at the London Photographic Society's exhibition in 1858, and was praised for its domestic character. Caldesi was a Florentine photographer based London.

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  • Rogers, Malcolm, Camera Portraits, 1989 (accompanying the exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery from 20 October 1989 - 21 January 1990), p. 43 Read entry

    The sitters are (left to right): Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh 1844-1900; Prince Albert 1819-61; Princess Helena 1846-1923; Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught 1850-1942; Princess Alice, later Grand Duchess of Hesse 1843-78; Queen Victoria 1819-1901, hold-ing Princess Beatrice, later Princess Henry of Battenberg 1857-1944; Princess Louise, later Duchess of Argyll 1848-1939; Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany 1853-84, and Prince Edward, later Edward VII 1841-1910.

    Queen Victoria and Prince Albert first began to collect photographs in the early 1840s, and did much to encourage the spectacular rise of photography in Britain. Photographs were included in two sections of the Great Exhibition (1851), and the Queen and her consort were the first patrons of the Photographic Society of London when it was founded in January 1853. Their collection was wide ranging, and included not just portraits, but also topographical, architectural and genre studies. But above all they valued photography for the opportunities it gave to commemorate the major events in their large and closely-knit family.

    Princess Beatrice, their youngest child, was born on 14 April 1857, and the Queen went shortly afterwards with the infant princess and the rest of her family to Osborne on the Isle of Wight to recuperate. On 23 May the Florentine Signor Caldesi of Caldesi & Montecchi of 38 Porchester Terrace, London, a firm much patronized by the Royal Family, was called to Osborne to photograph the new baby and the rest of the party.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 732

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