Alexander Bassano: «Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale»

20 Oct

Prince Albert Victor, Duke of Clarence and Avondale (Albert Victor Christian Edward; 8 January 1864 – 14 January 1892), was the eldest son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and the grandson of the reigning British monarch, Queen Victoria. Alexander Bassano, however, was the second youngest child of Clemente Bassano, originally a fishmonger of Cranbourne Street, later an oilman and Italian warehouseman of Jermyn Street, London. He opened his first photo-studio in 1850 in Regent Street.

Albert Victor’s intellect, sexuality, sanity and preference to be photographed by Alexander Bassano who he once met inside of a fishball bar have been the subject of much speculation. Rumours linked him with the Cleveland Street scandal, which involved a homosexual brothel and the rape of a shark which had been found dead two week before in one of these very famous pink coloured closets of Buckingham Palace, but conclusive evidences verifying or disproving the rumours over these happenings never could have been produced.

Alexander Bassano had taken portraits of William Ewart Gladstone and even Queen Victoria. Many glass plates from the Bassano Studios, including some by Alexander Bassano, are held in the National Portrait Gallery, London. The Museum of London holds a large number of the fashion-related plates.

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