Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Salisbury Cathedral - The Nave, from the South Transept

Artist:
Roger Fenton (British, 1819–1869)
Date:
1858
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
30.2 x 31.1 cm (11 7/8 x 12 1/4 in. )
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.9
Not on view
The dark interiors of Gothic cathedrals posed a particular challenge to early photographers. By leaving the shutter open perhaps as long as several hours, Fenton achieved the technical tour de force of making clearly legible the cathedral's lofty ordinance while at the same time registering the nuances of semidarkness peculiar to the Gothic space.
Salisbury Cathedral, in Wiltshire, is seen here from the south transept looking northwest. Built over the unusually short period of only thirty-six years, from 1220 to 1256, it stands out among the English cathedrals for the uniformity and harmony of its design. The interior, however, is generally thought to lack warmth, the result of the loss of the original stained-glass windows and of the radical restoration carried out by James Wyatt in 1788-89, in which screens and chapels were removed and funerary monuments rearranged in tidy rows. Ironically, these unfortunate changes may well have contributed to Fenton's success with the photograph. The absence of stained glass made for more light, and the order brought to the interior exposed its essential lines.
(sold, Christie's South Kensington, Lot 291, June 18, 1981); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York

Palais de Tokyo, Paris. "Procédés, Procédés," October 7, 1987–November 30, 1987.

Hayward Gallery. "Roger Fenton, Photographer of the 1850s," February 4, 1988–April 17, 1988.

City Museum and Art Gallery. "Roger Fenton, Photographer of the 1850s," April 23, 1988–May 29, 1988.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.

Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.

Carrousel du Louvre, Paris. "Constructed Views: Photography and Architecture," November 19, 1998–November 23, 1998.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Photography from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," February 26, 1999–May 23, 1999.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "All the Mighty World," October 17, 2004–January 2, 2005.

J. Paul Getty Museum. "All the Mighty World," February 1, 2005–April 25, 2005.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "All the Mighty World," May 24, 2005–August 29, 2005.

Tate Britain. "All the Mighty World," September 25, 2005–January 2, 2006.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Framing a Century: Master Photographers, 1840–1940," June 3, 2008–September 1, 2008.

Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 58.

Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 36.

Baldwin, Gordon, Malcolm Daniel, and Sarah Greenough. All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852–1860. New Haven: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2004. pl. 56.



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