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HomeContentsVisual indexesHenry Fox Talbot

Henry Fox Talbot 
Cathedral at Orléans 
1843, 21 June 
Salted paper print, from paper negative 
16.3 x 20.2 cm (6 7/16 x 7 15/16 ins) 
Metropolitan Museum of Art 
Purchase, Barbara Schwartz Gift, in memory of Eugene M. Schwartz, and Rogers Fund, 1996, Accession Number: 1996.5 
Curatorial description (accessed: 13 October 2016)
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. 

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