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'Mrs. Langtry', 1890.

Downey, William

'Mrs. Langtry', 1890.
4 0 c m
actual image size: 21cm x 32cm


A photographic portrait of Lillie Langtry (1853-1929), taken by W & D Downey. A close-up photograph of Lilllie Langtry, and an early example of image 'enhancement'. An area of retouching in the lower left of the photograph reduces Langtry's upper body area. At 24, the young Lillie Langtry was greatly admired by the artist Millais. His painting of her, 'A Jersey Lily' , had to be roped off from adoring crowds when it went on display in the Royal Academy. Married at the age of 22, Langtry later became the mistres of Albert, Prince of Wales, the future Edward VII (1841-1910). The notoriety of her affair raised her profile, launching her stage career. This photograph appears in 'The Cabinet Portrait Gallery' series of celebrity portraits and biographies published in the 1890s. The series includes royalty, actors, academics and authors.

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© Kodak Collection / National Science & Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library

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