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Eugene-Louis Lami (1800-90)

The Grand Staircase at Buckingham Palace, State Ball, 5 July 1848 dated 1848

Watercolour and bodycolour | 38.0 x 33.4 cm (sheet of paper) | RCIN 919902

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A watercolour depicting guests ascending the stairs on arrival at the ball, including Ladies in waiting. The men wear uniforms or Scottish dress. Four large portraits are on the walls, together with decorated reliefs and stencils. Signed.

The French artist Eugène Lami specialised in recording court festivities. The watercolour is a valuable record of the appearance of the staircase at Buckingham Palace, which had been redecorated under Ludwig Gruner's supervision in 1845.

Text adapted from Victoria & Albert: Art & Love, London, 2010

This watercolour was originally mounted in Souvenir Album IV. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert compiled nine Souvenir Albums during their marriage. These albums contained watercolours and drawings documenting their life together and were arranged in chronological order. The albums were dismantled in the early twentieth century and rebound in new volumes both in a different arrangement and with additional items, but a written record of their original contents and arrangement still exists.