Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Spoils of Wood and Stream

Artist:
Roger Fenton (British, 1819–1869)
Date:
1858–59
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 32.8 x 36.2 cm. (12 15/16 x 14 1/4 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Joyce and Robert Menschel Gift, Pfeiffer Fund, and Margaret W. and Matthew B. Weston Gift, 1993
Accession Number:
1993.68
Not on view
Although still life was rare in French and American photography in the mid-nineteenth century, in Britain the popularity of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Dutch and Flemish still-life painting suggested a tradition worth emulating. In 1860 Fenton explored the genre photographically in a series of sumptuous studio compositions of fruit, flowers, game, and tableware. Made outdoors, this photograph is very likely the link between Fenton's riverscapes of the 1850s and his later virtuoso still lifes. The composition seems to slowly eddy around the bellying basket of river trout. From the glistening rock to the suave arc of the trophy salmon, from the weathered log to the damp fur of the pendant rabbits, Fenton demonstrated how the tradition could be sensuously revitalized by a fresh eye--and a good catch.
Roger Fenton's "grey albums"; (Christie's, South Kensington, June 27, 1978, lot 281, ill.); [Weston Gallery]; "a prominent British collector"; [Weston Gallery]

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