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Photograph - Don Quixote in His Study
  • Don Quixote in His Study
    Price, William Henry Lake
  • Enlarge image

Don Quixote in His Study

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Britain (made)

  • Date:

    1855 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Price, William Henry Lake (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Photograph

  • Museum number:

    3-1976

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 50

W.H. Lake Price was a painter as well as a photographer. He exhibited several photographs of literary characters, such as Robinson Crusoe and Don Quixote. These parallel reconstructions by painters. Here the model - book in hand - rolls his eyes, looking sharply up and to his left, as a way of indicating Don Quixote's eccentric demeanour. The study is also reminiscent one described by Sir Walter Scott in his novel The Antiquary (1816). The Museum's founding-director Sir Henry Cole saw and disliked such historical costume-piece photographs ('the dramatic Scenes I think failures') but bought The First of September, a still life, by the same photographer.

Physical description

Pale sepia photograph mounted on card showing a bearded model posing as Don Quixote, seated in his study among books, curios and assorted arms and armour

Place of Origin

Britain (made)

Date

1855 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Price, William Henry Lake (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Photograph

Dimensions

Height: 324 mm image, Width: 283 mm Image, Height: 605 mm sheet, Width: 500 mm sheet

Descriptive line

Photograph by William Henry Lake Price, 'Don Quixote in His Study', 1855, Albumen print from glass negative

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

Hunt, Tristram and Victoria Whitfield, Art Treasures in Manchester: 150 years on Manchester: Manchester Art Gallery, 2007. ISBN 978 0 90167 372 5.

Labels and date

Photography Centre 2018-20:

William Henry Lake Price (1810–96)
Don Quixote in his Study
1855

Depictions of literary characters were typical for Victorian painters, but more controversial for photographers, as the greater realism of photography highlighted the artifice in their production. Here the character of Don Quixote is surrounded by objects relating to his adventures as a knight. The V&A’s founding director, Henry Cole, disliked historical costume-piece photographs like this, saying, ‘the dramatic Scenes I think failures’, but he did purchase a still life by Lake Price for the Museum.

Albumen print
Museum no. 3-1976
[]
Making It Up: Photographic Fictions (2018)
Marta Weiss

Literary scenes were typical subjects for Victorian painters but more controversial for photographers. The V&A’s founding director, Sir Henry Cole, disliked historical costume-piece photographs, saying, ‘the dramatic Scenes I think failures’, but he did purchase a still life by Lake Price for the Museum. Lake Price’s work inspired Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll) to make similar tableau-like photographs. []
Label for 'Making It Up: Photographic Fictions' (3 May 2013 - 12 January 2014):

William Henry Lake Price (1810–96)
Don Quixote in his Study
1855

Literary scenes were typical subjects for Victorian painters but more controversial for photographers. This museum’s founding director Sir Henry Cole disliked historical costume-piece photographs, saying, 'the dramatic Scenes I think failures', but he did purchase a work by this photographer for the Museum. Lake Price’s work also inspired Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carroll, whose work is also displayed in this gallery) to make similar tableau-like photographs.

Albumen print
Museum no. 3-1976
[]

Production Note

Reason For Production: Retail
Reason For Production: Exhibition

Materials

Paper; Photographic paper

Techniques

Albumen process

Categories

Photographs

Production Type

Unlimited edition

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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