The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Carlotta Leclercq

Carlotta Leclercq

A carte-de-visite portrait of Carlotta Leclercq (1838-1893), who was connected with the Princess’s Theatre in Kean’s time, and who married the actor John Nelson. Her sisters Rose and Louise also followed a theatrical career, as did their three brothers, Arthur, Charles and Pierre. The six were all children of Charles Leclercq, who was, according to one source, ‘for many years favourably known in dramatic circles in Manchester and London as a skilful ballet-master, pantomimist, and stage-manager, and also, actor in a certain range of parts.’ He died on 28 December 1861.

A copy of this portrait appears in one of Queen Victoria's albums in the Royal Photograph Collection at Windsor, where the role is identified as Ariel, the airy spirit in The Tempest. I have also seen a portrait of the same sitter in the same costume in stereoscopic format and the role was identified as that of Titania in A Midsummer Night's Dream. However, Carlotta Leclercq wasn't a Shakespearian actress and I think that it's far more likely this is a portrait of her in The Sylphide. Billed as 'a new Fairy Extravaganza,' it also starred Louise Keeley, Helen Howard and Rose Leclercq and was first performed at the Royal Princess's Theatre between on 9 April 1860.

Photographed by Camille Silvy of London in the Spring of 1860.


Code: 124400
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