Portrait of a man
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Also known as an ambrotype, the collodion positive was invented by F. Scott Archer in 1822, and was in widespread use by the mid-1850s. To produce a collodion positive, a sheet of glass is hand-coated with a thin film of collodion (guncotton dissolved in ether) containing potassium iodide, and sensitised to the light with silver nitrate to create a collodion negative. The back is then painted black or covered with a piece of dark cardboard or cloth in order to achieve the effect of a positive image.
This collodion positive portrait (ca. 1850) depicts a woman with gilt-detailed jewellery and is cased and gilt-framed.
Collodion positive portrait of a man, depicted half length, head resting on left hand, looking to his half left
Materials and Techniques
Anonymous collodion positive photograph, hand-tinted in a pinchbeck mount and case, depicting a portrait of a man, ca. 1850s.
Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection