Victorian Giants

Unfortunately I missed this exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, but I bought the catalogue because it is a good fit with the first part of Identity and Place. Although subtitled 'The Birth of Art Photography', the book deals only with English portraiture (understandable, given that this was an NPG exhibition) so there is nothing... Continue Reading →

Exercise 1.1 • Historic portrait

This is probably Lewis Carroll's best known photograph (Charles Dodgson adopted the pen-name in 1856 and is better known by that name than his own, so I will continue to use it) and shows the 6-year-old Alice Liddell in a 'beggar-maid' costume, a tattered dress, barefoot, leaning against a stone wall and gazing directly into... Continue Reading →

Historic portrait photography

There are two obvious threads for discussion of historic portrait photography: the underlying technology and the practice of photography. It is conventional to date the history of photography from January 1839 and the rival publications of Daguerre's and Fox Talbot's commercial processes, the daguerrotype and calotype respectively. (As an aside, Geoffrey Batchen (1999) gives a... Continue Reading →

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