Not currently on display at the V&A

Portrait of Willliam Henry Fox talbot

Photograph
ca.1845 (photographed)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Portrait of a man seated at a small pedestal table with a vase of flowers. One arm leans on the table with the hand over the edge and the other hand rest on a book on his knee. The three-quarter view of his face and his hands are brightly lit.
This image was made with a small camera.


object details
Category
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
salted paper print from cal;otype negative
Brief Description
19thC; Jones Calvert, Man beside a table with flowers. William Henry Fox Talbot?
Physical Description
Portrait of a man seated at a small pedestal table with a vase of flowers. One arm leans on the table with the hand over the edge and the other hand rest on a book on his knee. The three-quarter view of his face and his hands are brightly lit.

This image was made with a small camera.
Dimensions
  • Height: 20.6cm
  • Width: 16.4cm
Object history
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 Richard Jones learned of these developments in 1839 through a neighbour, who was a cousin of Talbot. Jones made many pictures in the West of England and South Wales, where he lived. He also 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 the medium.



This formal portrait of Talbot was photographed against a plain draped background cloth with a carved pedestal table and chair. It is an unusual arrangement for Jones, whose portraits and groups are normally posed in context, often in doorways or against buildings. It is an artificially composed interior scene, set up outside and lit with sunlight. The three-quarter view of Talbot's face, a small triangle of white shirt and study of his hands, one on a book and the other resting on the table by the vase, are brightly lit elements in a dark image.
Historical context
This portrait of Talbot could have been made in July 1845, when Jones joined Talbot and Nicolaas Henneman on a photographic trip to York.
Subjects depicted
Bibliographic Reference
p. 49The Origin of Photography: Great Britain. Tokyo Photographic Art Museum, 2019.
Other Number
LS4118 - Larry Schaaf number
Collection
Accession Number
PH.76-1983

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record createdSeptember 1, 2008
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