Charles Clifford (British, 18211863)
Albumen silver print from glass negative; 11 5/16 x 15 1/2 in. (28.8 x 39.4 cm)
The Elisha Whittelsey Collection, The Elisha Whittelsey Fund, 1988 (1988.1104)
Although British by birth, Clifford was the greatest photographer working in Spain in the mid-nineteenth century and was official photographer to both Queen Victoria and Queen Isabella II. This party from Lagartera, a town in central Spain famous for embroidery and lace, posed in their local finery in the nearby castle of Oropesa. Although Clifford is best known for his documentation of Spanish architectural monuments, he clearly possessed a talent for portraiture. In this grouping, he posed each member individually, taking care to display their costumes to best advantage. Particularly striking is the dashing younger man at the edge of the group, whose rakish presence is enhanced by his loosely draped black cloak and the shadow of his stylish wide-brimmed hat.