Skip to main content

Albert, Prince Francis (Albert) Augustus Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha

Albert, Prince Francis (Albert) Augustus Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (1819–61). Born at Schloss Rosenau, near Coburg, Prince Albert married the young Queen Victoria in 1840, and was created Prince Consort in 1857. In 1841 he chaired the Royal Commission to oversee the decorations of the new Palace of Westminster that were to act as a catalyst to improve the quality of British art, design, and manufactures. The Prince joined the Society of Arts and became its President in 1843; in this capacity he encouraged the application of science and art to industrial purposes. Around this time two important figures, ( Sir) Henry Cole and Professor Ludwig Grüner (1801–82), became closely involved with the Prince. The latter acted as art-adviser, encouraging a taste for Renaissance polychromy, grotesques, and the Rundbogenstil that were to be so influential in the buildings at South Kensington. The former became Chairman of the Society of Arts, and promoted model designs commissioned from artists which coined the term ‘art manufactures’: he was an energetic organizer, becoming Prince Albert's chief lieutenant for the remarkable Great Exhibition of 1851 in Paxton's Crystal Palace, of which the Prince was an enthusiastic promoter.

Albert was also President of the Society for Improving the Condition of the Labouring Classes, and helped to encourage the building of exemplary dwellings: the Society erected four ‘Model Houses for Families’ as part of the 1851 Exhibition, designed by Henry Roberts and paid for by the Prince. Later, Albert proposed using the profits of the Great Exhibition to found an establishment where science and art could be applied to industry of all nations. This was the beginning of South Kensington, a complex of museums, scientific institutions, and places of learning, known as Albertopolis, which had at its nucleus the Schools of Design. The Victoria & Albert Museum, a national museum of fine and applied art, is probably the Prince's greatest memorial.

As an influence on architecture the Prince was significant. Not only was polychromy favoured from the late 1840s, but many of Grüner's other Italianizing enthusiasms took root. Albert himself was involved in a number of design projects, including the Italianate Osborne House, IoW (with the London builder Thomas Cubitt from 1845), the Royal Dairy at the Model Farms at Windsor, alterations at Buckingham Palace, and Balmoral Castle (an essay in the Scottish Baronial style executed by William Smith (1817–91) of Aberdeen). However, Prince Albert's importance in the history of design lies in the immense improvements that became apparent from the time of the 1862 London Exhibition, which he encouraged, but did not live to see realized.

Bibliography

Ames (1967);
J. Curl (1983);
Hobhouse (1983);
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (2004);
Rhodes James (1983);
Scheele (1977)

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Albert, Prince Francis (Albert) Augustus Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Aug. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Albert, Prince Francis (Albert) Augustus Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Encyclopedia.com. (August 19, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/albert-prince-francis-albert-augustus-charles-emmanuel-duke-saxony-and-prince-saxe-coburg-and-gotha

"Albert, Prince Francis (Albert) Augustus Charles Emmanuel, Duke of Saxony and Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha." A Dictionary of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. . Retrieved August 19, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/albert-prince-francis-albert-augustus-charles-emmanuel-duke-saxony-and-prince-saxe-coburg-and-gotha

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.