View of an Unidentified Harbour thumbnail 1
View of an Unidentified Harbour thumbnail 2
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Request to view at the Prints & Drawings Study Room, level H , Case DELTA, Shelf 6

View of an Unidentified Harbour

Photograph
1844-1846 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

This photograph of a ship in dock is an early example of the calotype process, the process for making paper negatives which was invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839. The photographer, Calvert Jones, was introduced to the process by a cousin of Talbot and by close friends who lived near to Jones in South Wales.

Jones's 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 marine watercolorist. This
composition, with its strong foreground elements and high straight slipway leading in to the subject, emphasises both the tall ship and its sculptural shape.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Salted paper print from a Calotype
Brief Description
Photograph of a sailing ship in dock
Physical Description
Photograph showing a sailing ship in dock. viewed from a slipway. There is a small estuary boat resting on rough hewn timbers on the left of the slipway and stacked planks below a wooden quay-side building on the right.A sencond small boat without a stern board rests at the end of the slipway. There is fading to all edges of the print, most noticeably to the lower edge. Both top corners have been cut off. Overall the prints is a purple-brown with clear detail.
Dimensions
  • Height: 22cm
  • Width: 18cm
Object history
During the 1830 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 Richard Jones learned of these developments through a neighbour in South Wales who was Talbot's first cousin. Trained as a watercolourist, he was one of the first to apply a schooled artist's eye to photography.



This composition emphasises the importance of the ship. The high walls of slipway and the foreshortened lengths of unhewn wood lead the eye to tall masted ship. Leaninmg planks of wood and the stern of the small estuary boat establsih the context of the working ship yard.
Historical context
The tower of St Mary's Redcliff in the background, behind the masted ship, establishes the location as Bristol
Subjects depicted
Summary
This photograph of a ship in dock is an early example of the calotype process, the process for making paper negatives which was invented by William Henry Fox Talbot in 1839. The photographer, Calvert Jones, was introduced to the process by a cousin of Talbot and by close friends who lived near to Jones in South Wales.



Jones's 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 marine watercolorist. This

composition, with its strong foreground elements and high straight slipway leading in to the subject, emphasises both the tall ship and its sculptural shape.
Collection
Accession Number
PH.43-1983

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record createdJanuary 19, 2004
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