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Photograph - Two figures on Llandeilo Bridge
  • Two figures on Llandeilo Bridge
    Jones, Calvert Richard Rev., born 1802 - died 1877
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Two figures on Llandeilo Bridge

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Wales (made)

  • Date:

    1844-1846 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Salt paper print from calotype negative

  • Museum number:

    PH.88-1983

  • Gallery location:

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

Physical description

Photograph of two figures on a bridge

Place of Origin

Wales (made)

Date

1844-1846 (made)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Salt paper print from calotype negative

Dimensions

Height: 17.1 cm image, Width: 21.5 cm

Object history note

During the 1830s William Henry Fox Talbot invented a way of making paper negatives and from them multiple paper prints. In doing so, he laid the foundations of modern photography. Calvert Jones learned of these developments in 1839 through a neighbour who was a cousin of Talbot. Jones lived in South Wales and he made many photographs there and in the West of England. Also, he travelled widely, making photographs on the continent. Jones' work stands out in the early development of photography because he was one of the first to apply a schooled artist's eye to photography.

Jones was a pioneer of the wide-angle panoramic view, which is particularly effective at demonstrating the proportions of this new river bridge. He often included himself in photographs: the top hatted figure standing in a commanding position in the centre of the bridge is probably Jones. Many of his compositions include a second motif, which reflects the first; in this image, a second figure leans over the parapet. The new, single-span bridge replaced a damaged seven-arched bridge, which was well-known from a painting by J.M.W.Turner.

Historical context note

The construction of this bridge may have been of personal interest to Kit Talbot, a close friend of Calvert Jones. Edward Haycock, the supervisory architect at Margam Castle, was appointed as consulting architect on the new Llandeilo Bridge after a series of disputes. The new bridge, an economically important crossing of the River Towy (Tywi), opened in 1848 after three years of construction, over-running and escalating costs. Innovatively, it was an exceptionally wide-span, single-arch stone bridge; it replaced a 15th century seven-arched stone bridge, which had been repeatedly damaged by sucessive floods. A painting of the bridge (1795) by J M W Turner, exhibited at the Royal Academy, visually records the collapse of two of the centre arches and their replacement with an insubstantial wooden section.

Included in the 2007-8 exhibition 'Victorians Visions: 19th century photography at the Lady Lever Art Gallery, Liverpool.

Descriptive line

19thC; Jones Calvert, Two figures on a bridge

Materials

Salted paper

Techniques

Calotype; Calotype

Subjects depicted

Bridges (built works)

Categories

Photographs

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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