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The Court of the Lions, in the palace of the Alhambra

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    Granada (photographed)
    Alhambra (photographed)

  • Date:

    1859 ca. (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:


  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from wet collodion on glass negative

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 759, box B

Object Type
Albumen prints were the first glossy, coated photographic prints. They were in general use from about 1855 to 1890. They were made from thin paper which was first coated with a mixture of whisked egg white and salt, then sensitized with silver nitrate. This print was made from a glass negative.

Charles Clifford worked under the patronage of Queen Isabella II of Spain and the Spanish court for over ten years. He is best known for his photographs of Spanish architecture and landscapes.

Subjects Depicted
This photograph shows part of a court in the old citadel and royal palace of the Alhambra in the city of Granada. This ornate style was typical of the architecture built by the 'Moors', Muslims from North Africa who occupied most of the Iberian peninsula in the early 8th century, but were driven out of Granada, their last stronghold in Spain, in 1492. The main sections of the building were begun in the 14th century. A replica of the court was displayed in the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

Physical description


Place of Origin

Granada (photographed)
Alhambra (photographed)


1859 ca. (photographed)



Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from wet collodion on glass negative


Height: 29.2 cm unmounted, Width: 42.9 cm unmounted

Descriptive line

Topographical photograph illustrating the north gallery of the Court of the Lions and the entrance gate to the Sala de las Dos Hermanas, Alhambra; albumen print by Charles Clifford, 1859 ca., Granada, Spain.

Labels and date

British Galleries:
In 1850 the British photographer, Charles Clifford, established a studio in Madrid. He became the most important foreign photographer in Spain, taking striking photographs of architecture in sunlight with dramatic contrasts of light and shade. By the 1850s the Alhambra in southern Spain had become a very popular tourist site, well known in Britain. [27/03/2003]
Gallery 100, ‘History of photography’, 2011-2012, label text :

Charles Clifford (1819-63)
The Court of the Lions, in the Palace of the Alhambra
About 1860

The British photographer Charles Clifford established
a studio in Madrid in 1850. He worked as official
photographer to Queen Isabel II of Spain for a
decade, while also travelling the country to record
ancient architectural sites. The exquisite Alhambra is
a complex of palaces, forts and gardens, built in the
14th century for the last Muslim emirs in Spain.

Albumen print
Museum no. 47.790
[07 03 2014]

Production Note

Photographed in Spain by Charles Clifford (born in London, 1821, died in Madrid, 1863)


Albumen print; Photography

Subjects depicted

Stucco; Gallery; Court of the Lions; Wood; Arches; Sala de las Dos Hermanas; Capitals; Palace of the Lions; Palace


Ceramics; The Great Exhibition; Photographs


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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