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Calvert Richard Jones 
Portrait of Willliam Henry Fox Talbot 
1845 (ca, taken) 
  
Salt print, from calotype negative 
10.2 x 8.8 cm 
  
Victoria and Albert Museum 
Museum number: PH.76-1983 
  
 
LL/65201 
  
Curatorial description (accessed: 11 February 2016)
During the 1830s William Henry Fox Talbot invented a way of making paper negatives and from them multiple paper prints. In doing so, he laid the foundations of modern photography. Calvert Richard Jones learned of these developments in 1839 through a neighbour, who was a cousin of Talbot. Jones made many pictures in the West of England and South Wales, where he lived. He also travelled widely, making photographs on the continent. Jones' work stands out in the early development of photography because he was one of the first to apply a schooled artist's eye to the medium.
 
This formal portrait of Talbot was photographed against a plain draped background cloth with a carved pedestal table and chair. It is an unusual arrangement for Jones, whose portraits and groups are normally posed in context, often in doorways or against buildings. It is an artificially composed interior scene, set up outside and lit with sunlight. The three-quarter view of Talbot's face, a small triangle of white shirt and study of his hands, one on a book and the other resting on the table by the vase, are brightly lit elements in a dark image.
 
This portrait of Talbot could have been made in July 1845, when Jones joined Talbot and Nicolaas Henneman on a photographic trip to York. 
 

 
  
 
  
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