Pioneers of Victorian photography celebrated
RARE examples of early Victorian photography will be the subject of a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery next spring. Rarely seen in public because of their fragility, exhibits will include portraits of Alice Liddell – the inspiration behind Alice in Wonderland – taken by the author, Lewis Carroll.
Also on display at Victorian Giants: The Birth of Art Photography will be images by Swedish photographer Oscar Rejlander.
One of the early founders of art photography, Rejlander has been referred to as the Father of Photoshop’. One of his most well-known images, called ‘ Two Ways of Life’, is made up of 30 different negatives.
Controversially, for the time of its creation, the photograph depicts some nudity and was eventually bought by Queen Victoria as a birthday gift for her husband, Albert.
The final two photographers represented in the exhibition are Julia Margaret Cameron and Clementina Hawarden. As well as the Alice Liddell portraits, there will be images of Charles Darwin, Dante Gabriel Rossetti and Alfred, Lord Tennyson, as well as other famous faces of the period.
The National Portrait Gallery says it hopes the exhibition will change perceptions of Victorian photography.
Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs, and curator of the exhibition, said, ‘ The works of Cameron, Carroll, Hawarden and Rejlander forever changed thinking about photography and its expressive power. These are pictures that inspire and delight.’
The exhibition will run from 1 March - 20 May 2018 at the National Portrait Gallery in London. Tickets are priced at £12 (members admitted free).
A major new exhibition is set to showcase rarely seen examples of Victorian photography