The Royal Family on the terrace of Osborne House
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)
Sittersback to top
- Prince Leopold, Duke of Albany (1853-1884), Fourth and youngest son of Queen Victoria. Sitter associated with 61 portraits.
- Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819-1861), Prince Consort of Queen Victoria. Sitter in 208 portraits, Artist associated with 2 portraits.
- Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh and Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1844-1900), Naval officer; second son of Queen Victoria. Sitter associated with 79 portraits.
- Princess Alice, Grand Duchess of Hesse (1843-1878), Third child of Queen Victoria; wife of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine. Sitter associated with 111 portraits.
- Prince Arthur, 1st Duke of Connaught and Strathearn (1850-1942), Field Marshal, Governor General of Canada; son of Queen Victoria. Sitter associated with 158 portraits.
- Princess Beatrice of Battenberg (1857-1944), Fifth and youngest daughter of Queen Victoria; wife of Prince Henry of Battenberg. Sitter associated with 102 portraits.
- King Edward VII (1841-1910), Reigned 1901-10. Sitter associated with 506 portraits.
- Princess Helena Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein (1846-1923), Wife of Prince Christian of Schleswig-Holstein; third daughter of Queen Victoria. Sitter associated with 80 portraits.
- Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, Duchess of Argyll (1848-1939), Artist, sculptor and fourth daughter of Queen Victoria. Sitter associated with 95 portraits, Artist associated with 1 portrait.
- Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Reigned 1837-1901. Sitter associated with 543 portraits, Artist associated with 5 portraits.
- Victoria, Empress of Germany and Queen of Prussia (1840-1901), Consort of Frederick III, German Emperor, King of Prussia; daughter of Queen Victoria. Sitter associated with 125 portraits.
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.
Linked publicationsback to top
- 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
Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top
- The World's Most Photographed (6 June 2005 - 23 October 2005)
Subjects & Themesback to top
Events of 1857back to top
Current affairsPalmerston passes the Matrimonial Causes Act in the face of parliamentary opposition. The act establishes divorce courts, although women, unlike men, are not allowed to sue for divorce on the grounds of adultery.
The Manchester Art Treasures Exhibition is held, a follow-up to the Great Exhibition of 1851, although highlighting Britain's private art collections rather than industry and technology. More than 1.3 million people visit the event.
Art and scienceElizabeth Gaskell publishes The Life of Charlotte Brontë, a year after the author's death. The controversial biography consolidates the myth of the Brontë sisters as isolated geniuses living in remote Yorkshire.
Illustrator George Scharf becomes the first Secretary of the National Portrait Gallery, overseeing the collection's growth and its several moves around London before a permanent home is established in 1896, the year after Scharf's death.