A Stiff Pull

Photograph
1882-1888 (photographed), 1890 (published), 1888 (published), 1890 (published)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

In 1889 Emerson published his controversial book 'Naturalistic Photography for Students of the Art' without images. 'Naturalistic Photography' examined his purist approach to photography, derived from his fascination with Naturalism in art, and attacked the prevailing artificial aesthetic in art photography. After its publication Emerson felt that his opponents had misunderstood his ideas. So, in 1890 he selected 10 plates from his book 'Pictures of East Anglian Life' (1888) that best illustrated his theories, and presented them loose in a portfolio dedicated to the ‘photographic student’, with the same title and cover of the book. He then donated copies of this portfolio to every photographic society in the country.

Emerson won a silver medal in 1885 in The Country House Competition for the original version of this image, produced as an albumen print. In this photogravure, published in the book and the portfolio, the clouds have been enhanced for greater dramatic effect, and the tree that appeared in the right-hand corner of the albumen print has been completely removed.



object details
Category
Object Type
Additional TitlePictures of East Anglian Life (series title)
Materials and Techniques
photogravure
Brief Description
Photograph, 'A Stiff Pull', by Peter Henry Emerson, photogravure, Plate 3, from the 'Pictures of East Anglian Life' portfolio, 1890
Physical Description
A mounted black and white photograph showing a man ploughing field
Dimensions
  • Image height: 20.8cm
  • Image width: 28.8cm
  • Paper height: 29.6cm
  • Paper width: 39.2cm
Credit line
Presented by Mr. P. H. Emerson on 18 July, 1890
Object history
A portfolio containing 10 India proofs taken from the eponymous book (1888, 32 photogravures), published as a companion to his other book 'Naturalistic Photography for Students of the Art' (1889). With preface and Notes to the Student in the inside cover of the portfolio folder. Gift of the photographer 1890, transferred from the Print Collection, 1896
Subjects depicted
Summary
In 1889 Emerson published his controversial book 'Naturalistic Photography for Students of the Art' without images. 'Naturalistic Photography' examined his purist approach to photography, derived from his fascination with Naturalism in art, and attacked the prevailing artificial aesthetic in art photography. After its publication Emerson felt that his opponents had misunderstood his ideas. So, in 1890 he selected 10 plates from his book 'Pictures of East Anglian Life' (1888) that best illustrated his theories, and presented them loose in a portfolio dedicated to the ‘photographic student’, with the same title and cover of the book. He then donated copies of this portfolio to every photographic society in the country.



Emerson won a silver medal in 1885 in The Country House Competition for the original version of this image, produced as an albumen print. In this photogravure, published in the book and the portfolio, the clouds have been enhanced for greater dramatic effect, and the tree that appeared in the right-hand corner of the albumen print has been completely removed.



Associated Objects
Bibliographic Reference
John Taylor The old order and the new: P H Emerson and photography, 1885-1895 Munich; New York; London: Prestel, 2006. 160p.: ill (some col). ISBN: 3791336991 / 9783791336992.
Other Number
E.530-1890 - Previous number
Collection
Accession Number
PH.2115-1896

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record createdJune 22, 2010
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