By Gordon Baldwin, Malcolm Daniel, Sarah Greenough
Roger Fenton (1819–1869) was once England's such a lot celebrated photographer throughout the 1850s, the younger medium's so much wonderful second. After learning legislations and portray, Fenton took up the digicam in 1851 and instantly started to produce hugely unique pictures. in the course of a decade of labor he mastered each photographic style he tried: architectural images, panorama, portraiture, nonetheless lifestyles, reportage, and tableau vivant.
Fenton pictured noble kingdom homes, evocative ruins, and the rolling geographical region that surrounded them—majestic summations of rural England. both arresting are his muscular perspectives of cathedrals and of the royal castles and homes of Parliament that embodied Britain's strength. owning faultless process and an artist's intuition for composition and light-weight, he made pictures that mix the readability of a newly glossy international with the poetry of a Romantic sensibility. Fenton's such a lot compelling panorama works—intense meditations infused with a reverence for nature—call to brain cloud experiences by way of Constable or Turner's explorations of sunshine and atmosphere.
Fenton's take hold of was once wide-ranging. He traveled to Russia in 1852 and was once one of the first to picture the Kremlin and different landmarks of Moscow and Kiev. Commissioned in 1855 to rfile the Crimean War—which pitted eu countries opposed to an expansionist Russia—he back with pics of shell-shocked infantrymen and assured officials, perspectives of a chaotic Balaklava harbor, and bleak panoramas of the terrain of battle.
Sharing the mid-nineteenth-century ardour for all issues unique, Fenton produced a sequence of Orientalist posed gown photographs during which he strove for the theatrical results of Delacroix and Ingres. a last, impressive sequence of lush nonetheless lifes triumphantly achieves an analogous aim that Fenton had sought from the start: to illustrate that images may possibly equivalent portray or even surpass it.
An energetic proponent of images, Fenton was once the strength at the back of the founding of the Photographic Society (later the Royal Photographic Society), which inspired the development of the medium and the exhibition of members' works all through Britain. yet in 1862, for purposes either own undefined, he bought his apparatus and negatives, resigned from society, and back to the perform of legislations. In a occupation of a unmarried decade, Fenton had performed a lot to remodel images right into a medium of strong expression and visible delight.
This quantity provides 90 of Fenton's best photos, exactingly reproduced. Six top students have contributed 9 illustrated essays that handle each element of Fenton's occupation, in addition to a finished, documented chronology.
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Additional info for All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art Series)
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All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art Series) by Gordon Baldwin, Malcolm Daniel, Sarah Greenough