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Francis Bedford (1815-94)

Saracenic Gateway, Nabulus [Great Mosque, or Jama'a al-Kebir, Nablus] 16 Apr 1862

RCIN 2700939

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The Prince of Wales toured the Near East and Palestine in the spring of 1862. The grief which had overwhelmed Queen Victoria since the death of Prince Albert in December 1861, caused the appointment of an official photographer for the trip to be overlooked. Bedford was hastily commissioned two weeks before the Prince was due to leave. Bedford's task was fraught with difficulty as he was hindered by heat, rain, dust, insects and transport. He was also obliged to take photographs regardless of whether the conditions were suitable, due to the short amount of time spent at each site. However, he was able to photograph places not open to ordinary visitors because he was with the royal party. Despite the difficulties, these photographs undoubtedly represent some of Bedford's best work.