Image: 33.9 x 42.1 cm (13 3/8 x 16 9/16 in.), rounded corners
Mount: 38.3 x 45.3 cm (15 1/16 x 17 13/16 in.)
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Not on view
One of the most striking alterations to London's mid-nineteenth-century architectural landscape was the erection in 1837-50 of the new Houses of Parliament, designed by Sir Charles Barry in association with Augustus Pugin, in the Gothic perpendicular style. Fenton made several photographs of the new building, beginning with general views that he took moving downstream from Lambeth Palace on the opposite bank of the Thames and ending with close-ups that show ornamental details. In this image, which opens the series, the photographer has focused his attention on the south gate of the palace. The powerful Tudor edifice, built from 1486 to 1501, the official residence of the Archbishop of Canterbury, contrasts in its mass and tonal values with the delicate, lacy outline of the new Parliament buildings, showing the Clock Tower still unfinished; the arches of the old Westminster Bridge in the distance provide a graphic link between the two. The scene--with its barren foreground, and in the mid-ground the photographer's van, his assistant, a palace guard, and a lone sightseer--is like a stage set, the old building with its primitive simplicity facing, across the Thames, the self-assured elegance of the new.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount recto, BC: "Lambeth Palace"; BR: "L. No. 1"; inscribed in pencil on mount verso, TL: "V. 23"
Monastery, Northern England; [Valerie Lloyd, by 1989]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, May 24, 1989
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.
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.
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. p. 272.
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. 58.