Idyls of the Norfolk Broads

Photograph
1887 (published)
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This 1887 portfolio is a poetic portrayal of East Norfolk. Emerson depicts the region as an ‘earthly paradise’ that is in harmony with the changing seasons; from the pleasure of men contemplating the forthcoming harvest in Spring, to the silence of landscape in the snowy Winter, viewers can experience the peacefulness of pastoral life for themselves.
Emerson was particularly rigorous about printing processes and technical excellence. He favoured a photomechanical process called photogravure (or what he also referred to as ‘autogravure’, ‘copper plate engraving’ and ‘photo-etching’) for its ‘subtlety and delicacy’.
He describes the 12 images within this portfolio as ‘printed from copper plates’ reproduced from his original negatives that were ‘taken directly from Nature’ – being faithful to what the lens had captured rather than creating artificial composites in the studio or dark room. He also specifies that in the process of reproduction ‘no retouching has marred the subtleties of Nature’s handiwork’.

P.H. Emerson wrote in the text that accompanied this image: ‘Here we have a bright sunny June Idyl of the marshes. …The graceful figure with the rake is resting until the waggon shall move on to the next haycock. In the distance the spotted cattle stand under the shady trees or roam in restless groups chased by the summer flies. …Beautiful in colour is the fresh green carpet of the newly-cut marsh’.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
photogravure
Brief Description
Photograph, 'The Haysel', by Peter Henry Emerson, photogravure, Plate 2, from the 'Idyls of the Norfolk Broads' portfolio, 1887

Physical Description
A photogravure of
Dimensions
  • Image height: 14.3cm
  • Image width: 25.1cm
  • Paper height: 34cm
  • Paper width: 43.3cm
Styles
Credit line
Presented by P.H. Emerson on 27 March, 1888
Summary
This 1887 portfolio is a poetic portrayal of East Norfolk. Emerson depicts the region as an ‘earthly paradise’ that is in harmony with the changing seasons; from the pleasure of men contemplating the forthcoming harvest in Spring, to the silence of landscape in the snowy Winter, viewers can experience the peacefulness of pastoral life for themselves.

Emerson was particularly rigorous about printing processes and technical excellence. He favoured a photomechanical process called photogravure (or what he also referred to as ‘autogravure’, ‘copper plate engraving’ and ‘photo-etching’) for its ‘subtlety and delicacy’.

He describes the 12 images within this portfolio as ‘printed from copper plates’ reproduced from his original negatives that were ‘taken directly from Nature’ – being faithful to what the lens had captured rather than creating artificial composites in the studio or dark room. He also specifies that in the process of reproduction ‘no retouching has marred the subtleties of Nature’s handiwork’.



P.H. Emerson wrote in the text that accompanied this image: ‘Here we have a bright sunny June Idyl of the marshes. …The graceful figure with the rake is resting until the waggon shall move on to the next haycock. In the distance the spotted cattle stand under the shady trees or roam in restless groups chased by the summer flies. …Beautiful in colour is the fresh green carpet of the newly-cut marsh’.

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.
Collection
Accession Number
E.140-2015

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record createdMay 11, 2015
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