Controversial royal etchings on display
ABOOK of etchings by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, which was at the centre of a seminal court case, has gone on display at Harewood House, West Yorkshire, for the first time. Soon after their marriage in 1840, the royal couple took up etching and were schooled by Sir George Hayter and Sir Edwin Landseer. Their subjects ranged from copies of Renaissance art to portraits of their children, themselves and their pets (above). The Queen used to give these prints to friends and family as gifts. In 1848, a number of prints were leaked to a journalist, who made moves both to exhibit them and print them in a catalogue. Prince Albert sought an injunction to prevent their display; he succeeded and the case remains a defining moment in the development of copyright law. Although incomplete—there are only two known complete sets of the couple’s etchings, in the Royal Collection and at the British Museum—the book is thought to have been given to Princess Mary on her wedding day. The exhibition ‘Victorian Harewood’ runs until October 29 (0113–218 1010; www.harewood.org).