Biography: 19th Century photographer Charles Clifford

Biography: 19th Century photographer Charles Clifford


Charles Clifford (1820 – 1863) was a Welsh photographer based mainly in Spain.

Clifford, known mostly for his daguerreotype, calotype and wet plate collodion images of scenes from around Spain, he was, together with the French photographer, Jean Laurent, one of the leading photographers of his day in Spain.

Queen Victoria and Prince Albert are known to have purchased some of Clifford’s Spanish photographs in 1854, and in 1861, he published two volumes, containing a series of 159 prints commissioned by Queen Victoria, Prince Albert, the King and Queen of Spain, the Emperors of France, Russia and Austria, the Duc de Montpensier, among others.

Although known mainly for his collections of photographs of landscapes, monuments and public works, he was commissioned to carry out a portrait of Queen Victori at Windsor Castle (her notes in her Journal for 14 November 1861 state she was ‘dressed in evening dress, with diadem & jewels’ and was ‘photographed for the Queen of Spain by Mr Clifford. He brought me one of hers, taken by him’. It was possibly one of the last portraits taken of the queen wearing a colour), and was also named Court Photographer to the Queen of Spain, accompanying her on the royal tour of Andalucia in 1862.

Queen Victoria, 1861

Queen Victoria, 1861, Photographer: Charles Clifford

Juanelo waterworks, 1857

Juanelo waterworks, 1857, Photographer: Charles Clifford

Elche palm trees, 1862

Elche palm trees, 1862, Photographer: Charles Clifford

A painting either by or in the collection of Manuel Castellano, 1854

A painting either by or in the collection of Manuel Castellano, 1854, Photographer: Charles Clifford

Painting of Burgos Cathedral, 1854

Painting of Burgos Cathedral, 1854, Photographer: Charles Clifford

Alameda of the Martires, property of Senator don Carlos Calderon, Granada, 1862

Alameda of the Martires, property of Senator don Carlos Calderon, Granada, 1862, Photographer: Charles Clifford

Roman bridge and Arab mills, Cordoba, looking towards Mosque across Guadalquivir River, 1862

Roman bridge and Arab mills, Cordoba, looking towards Mosque across Guadalquivir River, 1862, Photographer: Charles Clifford

Cathedral, Torre del Oro and Guadalquivir River, Seville, 1862

Cathedral, Torre del Oro and Guadalquivir River, Seville, 1862, Photographer: Charles Clifford

The Albaicin, view from the Alhambra, Granada, 1862

The Albaicin, view from the Alhambra, Granada, 1862, Photographer: Charles Clifford

Madrid visto desde el oeste, Charles Clifford, c. 1860.

Madrid visto desde el oeste, Charles Clifford, c. 1860.

Obras del Canal de Isabel II: Acueducto de la Sima, Charles Clifford, 1855.

Obras del Canal de Isabel II: Acueducto de la Sima, Charles Clifford, 1855.


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