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Photograph - St Michael's Hill, Bristol
  • St Michael's Hill, Bristol
    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877
  • Enlarge image

St Michael's Hill, Bristol

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Bristol (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Salted paper print from calotype negative

  • Museum number:

    PH.63-1983

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 353, box B

This photograph is one of an early two-part photographic panorama. It shows both sides of a steep cobbled street with a commanding view over the centre of Bristol. It is made by the calotype process, a paper negative process invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839.
Calvert Jones, who took this photograph, was introduced to photography by a cousin of Talbot and by close friends, who lived near to Jones in South Wales.

Jones' work stands out in the early development of photography because of his ability to fuse his new skill in photography with his experience as a watercolorist. Jones' artistic eye is evident in the composition: the geometric pattern of the railings, which cross diagonally and provide a strong foreground element to the sloping street and distant spires and towers of the city centre.

Physical description

Photograph dominated by foreground railings and dark tone of the raised pavement crossing diagonally from the lower left corner. The cobbled street drops steeply down a hill of mainy eighteenth century residential buildings. In the distance are the church towers of central Bristol. Minimal fading to left and right edges.

Place of Origin

Bristol (photographed)

Artist/maker

Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Salted paper print from calotype negative

Dimensions

Height: 206 mm, Width: 164 mm

Object history note

Calvert Richard Jones was one of the first to learn of W.H.F.Talbot's photographic discoveries of the late 1830s through Talbot's cousin and friends who lived near to Jones in South Wales. Subsequently, Jones became one of the few Britons to produce a substantial body of calotypes in Britain and abroad. His work stands out in the early development of photography because of his ability to fuse his technical skill with the influence of his training as a watercolorist.

This photograph is one a two-part panorama showing both sides of a steep cobbled street with a commanding view over Bristol. Jones' artistic eye is evident in the composition; the geometric pattern of the railings, which cross diagonally, provides a strong foreground element to the steeply sloping street and the rising spires and towers of the distant city centre.

Historical context note

The two storied buildings in the centre of the photograph is a wing of Colston's almshouses, founded in 1690 by Edward Colston, a Bristol, philanthropist. Just past the, the taller building is the 17th century King David's Inn. The distant churches, which are clearly visible in a watercolour of the same view, could be Christ's Church, Temple, St. John-on-the-Wall, All Saints and St. Nicholas.

Descriptive line

Street scene with railings in foreground

Materials

Salted paper

Techniques

Calotype

Subjects depicted

Houses; Buildings; Street; Railings; Shops

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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