Queen Victoria

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Queen Victoria

by Southwell Brothers
albumen carte-de-visite, 1864
3 1/2 in. x 2 3/8 in. (88 mm x 59 mm) image size
Given by Terence Pepper, 2010
Photographs Collection
NPG x134190

Sitterback to top

  • Queen Victoria (1819-1901), Reigned 1837-1901. Sitter associated with 548 portraits, Artist or producer associated with 5 portraits.

Artistback to top

  • Southwell Brothers (active 1861-1876), Photographers. Artist or producer associated with 197 portraits.

This portraitback to top

With her husband Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, Queen Victoria was an early supporter of photography. Both became patrons of the Photographic Society soon after its inception in 1853. Despite posing for many private pictures, it was not until 1860 when John Jabez Edwin Mayall published his 'Royal Album' (fourteen cartes-de-visite of Queen Victoria and her family) that photographs of the queen became both public and available for purchase. In this year Victoria and her family also sat for William Southwell and allowed the results to be published, as was reported in the Morning Post. Victoria was to sit for the Southwells again and it was this second sitting that successfully captured her achievement in projecting a grand and regal image despite her stout figure and diminutive height.

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1864back to top

Current affairs

First of the Contagious Diseases Act. These acts allowed for the arrest, medical inspection and confinement of any woman suspected of being a prostitute in the port towns. Following huge public outcry over their discrimination against women, notably led by Josephine Butler, leader of the Ladies' National Association, the acts were eventually repealed.
Octavia Hill starts work on slums, and the International Working Men's Association is founded in London.

Art and science

The Scottish physicist James Clerk Maxwell presents his discoveries in the field of electromagnetics to the Royal Society. His paper A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field expresses the basic laws of electricity and magnetism in unified fashion. Maxwell's equations, as his rules came to be known, helped create modern physics, laying the foundation for future work in special relativity and quantum mechanics.

International

Austria and Prussia combine forces to seize Schleswig-Holstein from Denmark.
Britain cedes Corfu, acquired from France in the Second Treaty of Paris (1815) to Greece. Although Britain had vigorously suppressed an uprising in 1849 in Cephalonia aiming to restore Iolian islands, the government changed policy throughout the 1850s and 60s.

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