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Photographic portrait of Princess Louise, looking to the right of camera

The captivating life and art of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert’s daughter

Princess Louise, Marchioness of Lorne Jul 1875

14.1 x 9.5 cm | RCIN 2902950

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Louise’s talents were not only seen by her tutors, but also by her eldest sister Victoria, Princess Royal, who convinced their mother to allow Louise to enrol at the National Art Training School. Louise became the first member of the royal family to attend a public education institution.

There was, however, a divide between women and men attending the school. Female students were not permitted to attend the same life drawing classes as their male counterparts. Women were only allowed to work from draped models, whereas the male students were able to study and draw fully nude subjects. Louise and her female peers were at the forefront of a changing dynamic of women sculptors.

Louise’s artistic personality also found expression in her fashion sense, as can be seen in this image from 1875.

To learn more about Princess Louise and the challenges women sculptors faced in the 19th century, listen to Jasmina Gharres’s podcast in collaboration with the New Museum School.