Cathedral at Orléans

William Henry Fox Talbot British

Not on view

In 1840 Talbot devised a negative/positive process that allowed multiple prints of a single image--the procedural basis of nearly all photography since. Talbot's negatives were made of thin writing paper; the fibrous texture obscured some detail, but it imparted softness and a graded tonality to the resulting print.
This photograph, showing the upper levels of one tower of Orléans Cathedral, was made on June 7, 1843, when Talbot was en route to Paris to sell the French rights to his patented process. Because he was unsuccessful in this enterprise, the French did not make paper photographs for another decade.

Cathedral at Orléans, William Henry Fox Talbot (British, Dorset 1800–1877 Lacock), Salted paper print from paper negative

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