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Photograph - Idyls of the Norfolk Broads
  • Idyls of the Norfolk Broads
    Emerson, Peter Henry, born 1856 - died 1936
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Idyls of the Norfolk Broads

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    East Anglia (photographed)
    England (photographed)

  • Date:

    1887 (published)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Emerson, Peter Henry, born 1856 - died 1936 (photographer)
    The Autotype Fine Art Company Limited. (publisher)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    photogravure

  • Credit Line:

    Presented by P.H. Emerson on 27 March, 1888

  • Museum number:

    E.160-2015

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 418, box D

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’.

In the last plate of the portfolio Idyls of the Norfolk Broads, Emerson leaves the viewer with a placid and joyous message, ‘At peace with all mankind lives this little colony in this old-world place … Their holiday comes once a year …Then dressed in their best they sail to their broad, and bet and argue and drink beer, and at eventide return home forgetful of all cares’.

Physical description

A mounted black and white photograph on India paper showing a windmill

Place of Origin

East Anglia (photographed)
England (photographed)

Date

1887 (published)

Artist/maker

Emerson, Peter Henry, born 1856 - died 1936 (photographer)
The Autotype Fine Art Company Limited. (publisher)

Materials and Techniques

photogravure

Dimensions

Height: 15.9 cm image, Width: 12.2 cm image, Height: 43.3 cm paper, Width: 34 cm paper

Descriptive line

Photograph, 'The Windmill', by Peter Henry Emerson, photogravure, Plate 12, from the 'Idyls of the Norfolk Broads' portfolio, 1887

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

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.

Techniques

Photography

Subjects depicted

Windmill

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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