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  • Charles Clifford (1819 -1863)
  • Charles Clifford (1819 -1863)
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Description: Portrait Queen Isabel II, 1860-1861

Notes: abel II is attracted to photography, new means of representation and communication for their ontological characteristics had seduced the modern society of the time. The queen saw in photography a powerful propaganda tool and used it to document the process of modernization of the country and to spread their image. As tells Reyes Utrera in his article, Charles Clifford was one of the first photographers "Jean Laurent, Martínez de Hebert and Charles Clifford, were the first who recorded the effigy of the sovereign in the wake of the official portrait, with elegant attire and their own dressings range, giving a solemn vision and own majestic pomp and pageantry inherent to real power. The magnificence and good taste of his clothes, in line with the exuberant and baroque fashion of the time crinoline, fit perfectly in the figure, most of them designs of famed couturier Charles Frederick Worth " Reyes Utrera Gómez, Isabel II y la fotografía : imágenes de una vida, Estudios de historia de España,No 15, 2013, págs. 217-254 Charles Clifford was one of the most important photographers of the mid-nineteenth century, since 1852 work regularly for the Spanish monarchy. We have very little information about its activity as a portraitist, have been preserved very few of the portraits he made the most of his photographs, preserved, are architectural views, landscapes, or images of public works. The portrait of Isabel II presented is one of the two known images of the photographer who made large format and preserved: Rachel Bullough Ainscough gives us interesting information about this photograph: “On November 14, 1861, Clifford visited Windsor Castle and photographed Queen Victoria in the orangery. Victoria wrote in his diary that had been dressed in evening dress with tiara and jewels and was photographed by Mr Charles Clifford had brought him a portrait of Elizabeth II, taken by him. According to The Photographic News (April 11, 1863), the portrait gave much satisfaction to the Queen and the Prince Consort, who gave permission to be published. "Very pleased" was also was Queen Elizabeth II with the two portraits commissioned Clifford the same year; "One in suit Countess of Barcelona, and another in the Queen", according to the Universal Museum (28 July 1861). In this "other" portrait Elizabeth II is dressed in a spectacular evening dress with tiara and jewels and is likely to be the portrait given to Victoria in exchange for his”.

Dimensions: imagen image, 29, 5 x 23 cm, montaje mounting 37,7 x 28,5 cm,

Artist or Maker: Charles Clifford (1819 -1863)

Literature: Clifford en España, Un fotógrafo en la Corte de Isabel II, Ediciones El Viso, Madrid, 1999, p. 2 y 319 La fotografía en España en el siglo XIX, Fundación La Caixa, Barcelona, 2003, p. 71

Medium: Papel albuminado, Albumen print imagen image, 29, 5 x 23 cm, montaje mounting 37,7 x 28,5 cm, sello seco C Clifford Photo of H M, dry stamp C Clifford Photo of H M, tiraje de época, vintage

Date: 1860-1861

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