Exhibitions/ Art Object

Capuchin Friars, Valetta, Malta

Calvert Richard Jones (British, Swansea, Wales 1802–1877 Bath, England)
Paper negative with applied media
Image: 8.3 x 10.2 cm (3 1/4 x 4 in.)
Frame: 35.6 x 43.2 cm (14 x 17 in.) (Framed together with FI.26.1)
Credit Line:
National Media Museum, Bradford, United Kingdom
Not on view
In 1846 Jones, who learned the new art of photography directly from its English inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot, set off on a lengthy photographic tour of the Mediterranean. He stopped for four months on the island of Malta, where he recorded views of ships and harbors, picturesque street scenes, and portraits of exotically costumed locals, including this group of bearded and robed Capuchin friars. The print shows four friars on a sunny rooftop. In the negative, however, the silhouette of a fifth man lurks just behind the others. All that was required to make him disappear was a touch of India ink on the negative. Jones was eager to market his photographs as souvenirs for tourists and probably felt that the fifth man crowded the composition.
This negative was part of William Henry Fox Talbot's archive, which included photographs, correspondence, manuscripts and research notes. It was left to his son Charles Henry, who on his death, left its contents to his niece, Miss Matilda Gilchrist-Clark (1871-1958). In the 1934, she gave a large portion of this material to the then Science Museum and now the National Media Museum. See Larry J Schaaf, "Records of the Dawn of Photography; Talbot's Notebooks P & Q," (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), p. xv; Pam Roberts, "The Royal Photographic Society Collection," Bath: Royal Photographic Society, 1994, p. 53. Reference to the negative written in Rollin Buckman, "The Photographic Work of Calvert Richard Jones," (London: Science Museum: H.M.S.O., 1990), n.p.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," October 10, 2012–January 27, 2013.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," February 17, 2013–May 5, 2013.

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," June 2, 2013–August 25, 2013.

Fineman, Mia. Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 2, pp. 2, 206.