The Corselet of Charles V, 1866
Jane Clifford, Attributed to
albumen silver print
34.6 x 25.9 cm; image: 34.6 x 25.9 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 43117)
Made in the mid-1860s, these photographic prints are generally acknowledged to be the work of Jane Clifford, the wife of Charles Clifford, who was arguably the most prominent photographer working in nineteenth-century Spain. Unfortunately, we have little information about her except that she arrived in Madrid in about 1850 with her husband and worked with him in his studio. The ability to capture and transmit the volumes and sheen of the metal in "The Corselet of Charles V" suggests that the maker of these images was an experienced and inventive photographer. In these prints, the suits of armour and helmets are isolated and removed from their contexts of rooms in the Royal Palace in Madrid.