First Public Photo of Queen Victoria (1860)

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Queen Victoria by John Jabez Edwin Mayall in 1860. One of the first published photographs of the Queen. The public had never seen or been able to buy a photograph of the Queen before and once on sale, the images were extremely popular via

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Impressive Pioneer Photography by Hill & Adamson (1843 – 1848)

In 1843 artist David Octavius Hill joined engineer Robert Adamson in partnership at Rock House on Calton Hill, Edinburgh, Scotland.

During their brief four year partnership, between 1843-1848, Hill & Adamson produced the first substantial body of self-consciously artistic work using the newly invented medium of photography.

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David Octavius Hill, Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 – 1848), 1843 via

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Miss Matilda Rigby, Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 – 1848) via

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The bird-cage, Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 – 1848)  via

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A Discussion,  Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 – 1848), via

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The Letter, Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 – 1848) via

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Mr Laing or Laine, Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 – 1848) via

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Piper and Drummer of the 92nd Gordon Highlanders, Edinburgh Castle, Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 – 1848) via

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The Scott Monument,  Hill & Adamson (Scottish, active 1843 – 1848), about 1845 via

Whistler´s Brilliant Portraits

James Abbott McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) was an American artist, active during the American Gilded Age and based primarily in the United Kingdom. He was averse to sentimentality and moral allusion in painting, and was a leading proponent of the credo “art for art’s sake”. His famous signature for his paintings was in the shape of a stylized butterfly possessing a long stinger for a tail. The symbol was apt, for it combined both aspects of his personality—his art was characterized by a subtle delicacy, while his public persona was combative.

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Jo by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1861 via

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Weary by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1863 via

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Reading by Lamplight by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1858 via

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Annie Haden by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1860 via

Count Burckhardt published 1862 by James Abbott McNeill Whistler 1834-1903

Count Burckhardt by James Abbott McNeill Whistler, 1862 via

 

Beautiful Victorian Portraits by Lady Clementina Hawarden

Lady Clementina Hawarden (1822 – 1865) was a noted portrait photographer of the Victorian Era.

She turned to photography in late 1857 or early 1858, whilst living on the estate of her husband’s family in Dundrum, Co. Tipperary, Ireland. A move to London in 1859 allowed her to set up a studio in her elegant home in South Kensington.

The furniture and characteristic decor of an upper-class London home was removed in order to create mise-en-scène images and theatrical poses within the first floor of her home – Hawarden’s characteristic portraits include her daughters Isabella Grace, Clementina, and Florence Elizabeth.

Hawarden produced albumen prints from wet-plate collodion negatives, a method commonly used at the time. Her work was widely acclaimed for its “artistic excellence”. Hawarden was considered an amateur photographer and while appreciated for her work, never became widely known as a photographer. Her photographic years were brief but prolific. Hawarden produced over eight hundred photographs from 1857-1864 before her sudden death. she died after suffering from pneumonia for one week, aged 42. It has been suggested that her immune system was weakened by constant contact with the photographic chemicals.

Her work is likened to Julia Margaret Cameron, another Victorian female photographer.

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A photograph that is possibly a self-portrait of Clementina, Lady Hawarden, taken in about 1862.

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Isabella by Clementina, Lady Hawarden

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Isabella by Lady Clementina Hawarden

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Clementina reading while sitting at the window wearing some kind of fancy dress or theatrical costume, ca. 1862-63 by Lady Clementina Hawarden.

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Clementina, reading a book by Clementina, Lady Hawarden

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Some Victorian “Carte de Visites”

The carte de visite was a type of small photograph which was patented in Paris by photographer André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri in 1854.  It was a small, cheap portrait format which made photography available to the masses.

It was usually made of an albumen print, which was a thin paper photograph mounted on a thicker paper card.

The Carte de Visite was slow to gain widespread use until 1859, when Disdéri published Emperor Napoleon III’s photos in this format. This made the format an overnight success.

The new invention was so popular it was known as “cardomania”and it spread throughout Europe and then quickly to America and the rest of the world.

The immense popularity of these card photographs led to the publication and collection of photographs of prominent persons.

Each photograph was the size of a visiting card, and such photograph cards were traded among friends and visitors.

Albums for the collection and display of cards became a common fixture in Victorian parlors.

By the early 1870s, cartes de visite were supplanted by “cabinet cards,” which were also usually albumen prints, but larger, mounted on cardboard backs.

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Contemporary carte de visite, 1860s

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Victorian carte de visite circa 1880s

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One of the first cartes de visite of Queen Victoria taken by photographer John Jabez Edwin Mayall

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Napoléon III and his wife Eugenie, cartes de visite by Disderi, circa 1865

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Carte de visite photograph of Ella Wesner, circa 1872, the most celebrated male impersonator of the Gilded Age Vaudeville circuit.

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 1860s original/vintage albumen carte de visite of a lovely young California bride in her flowing white wedding dress taken by the pioneer daguerreotypist from San Francisco,William Shew.

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Eldon House (1895)

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Interior view of Eldon House, 1895 – note the abundance of bric-a-brac and elaborate Victorian furnishings. Eldon House was built in 1834 for John Harris, Treasurer of the London District, and occupied by his family – his wife Amelia and their eight children. It was first named Eldon Terrace, shortly thereafter changed to Eldon House – via lib.uwo.ca

Three Photos by Robert Demachy (1859–1936)

Robert Demachy (1859–1936) was the leading French Pictorial photographer of the late 19th and early 20th century. Pictorialism began in response to claims that a photograph was nothing more than a simple record of reality, and transformed into an international movement to advance the status of all photography as a true art form.

Demachy is best known for his intensely manipulated prints that display a distinct painterly quality. Demachy was particularly interested in nonstandard photographic processes and is noted especially for his revival of the gum bichromate process (invented in 1855 but little used until the 1890s), which allowed the introduction of color and brushwork into the photographic image (source).

He gave up taking photographs in early 1914, and never again touched a camera, even refusing to take snapshots of his grandchildren. No one was ever able to extract any reason from him for this sudden change, and it remains a mystery to this day.

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Dans les coulisses by Robert Demachy (ca. 1897)

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Behind the Scenes of the Opera by Robert Demachy

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Behind the Scenes by Robert Demachy (1906)

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