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Sebastopol from Cathcart's Hill

Artist:
Roger Fenton (British, 1819–1869)
Date:
1855
Medium:
Salted paper print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 21.9 x 34.7 cm (8 5/8 x 13 11/16 in.) Mount: 41.7 x 57.2 cm (16 7/16 x 22 1/2 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Mrs. Walter Annenberg and The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.68
Not on view
Cathcart Hill, named for the British general whose grave lay nearby, was the observation point from which the allied commanders of the Crimean War gathered to follow the progress of the siege of Sebastopol. This image is an interesting example of Fenton's pursuit of his own pictorial agenda, regardless of the avowed purpose of his mission. Sebastopol is barely visible in the distance. The vast, desolate emptiness seems hardly worth a battle; the picture is really about the tenuous hold of man over an indifferent terrain.
Inscription: Letterpress on mount recto, BL: "Deposé."; BC: "Photographed by R. Fenton, Manchester. Published by T. Agnew & Sons, Feby 29th 1856. // London, P. & D. Colnaghi & Co. Paris, Moulin 23 Rue Richer - New York, Williams & Co."; BR: "Sebastopol from Cathcarts Hill"; black inkstamp on mount recto (above letterpress) BC: "THE // NEWBERRY // LIBRARY // CHICAGO"; inscribed in pencil, mount recto, BL: "G"; BR: "60.";
Newberry Library, Chicago, before 1990; [Hans P. Kraus, Jr., New York]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, May 23, 1990

Published by T. Agnew & Sons, Feb. 29, 1856
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