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 accompanies this image, ‘Everything feels sad yet peaceful in A Grey Day Pastoral. It is one of those moist days when the air is full of vapour; a day on which all the outlines of buildings and trees are softened and fade mysteriously into the sky. …Some sheep lie resting on the green marsh; the mill in the heavy air is also at rest, its mighty wings partially veiled in the mist. …The picture comes as a message of peace and contentment’.


object details
Category
Object Type
Additional TitleA Grey Day Pastoral (assigned by artist)
Materials and Techniques
photogravure
Brief Description
Photograph, 'A Grey Day Pastoral', by Peter Henry Emerson, photogravure, Plate 11, from the 'Idyls of the Norfolk Broads' portfolio, 1887
Physical Description
A mounted black and white photograph on India paper showing sheeps on pastures
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
Subjects depicted
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 accompanies this image, ‘Everything feels sad yet peaceful in A Grey Day Pastoral. It is one of those moist days when the air is full of vapour; a day on which all the outlines of buildings and trees are softened and fade mysteriously into the sky. …Some sheep lie resting on the green marsh; the mill in the heavy air is also at rest, its mighty wings partially veiled in the mist. …The picture comes as a message of peace and contentment’.

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.148-2015

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record createdMay 11, 2015
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