William Henry Fox Talbot (British, Dorset 1800–1877 Lacock)
August 9, 1843
Salted paper print from paper negative
14.9 x 14.5 cm (5 7/8 x 5 11/16 in.)
Gift of Hans P. Kraus Jr., 1988
Not on view
This photograph, showing Talbot's plaster cast of a Hellenistic marble now in the British Museum, appeared as plate 17 in The Pencil of Nature. The photographic reproduction of works of art-manuscripts, prints, paintings, sculpture-would forever change both the practice of art and the study of art history. Drawing after the antique had long been a staple of artistic study, but "already," wrote Talbot in the text accompanying this image, "sundry amateurs have laid down the pencil and armed themselves with chemical solutions and with cameræ obscuræ."
Inscription: Inscribed in ? in negative on print, recto LR: "Aug. 1843"; inscribed on print, verso LL: "1833"; inscribed on print, verso LR: "LA 17"
Hans P. Kraus, Jr.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 9," June 12, 1995–August 28, 1995.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 38," June 29, 2004–September 26, 2004.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.
Schaaf, Larry J. William Henry Fox Talbot Catalogue Raisonné, Oxford: Bodleian Libraries, 2017. http://foxtalbot.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/.
Date of negative: August 9, 1843. This print was reproduced in H. P. Kraus's 1989 facsimile of "The Pencil of Nature." Another view of the same statue appeared in "The Pencil of Nature," no.1, plate V.