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Calvert Richard Jones
Capuchin Friars, Valetta, Malta
Salted paper print, from paper negative
National Science and Media Museum
In 1846 Jones, who learned the new art of photography directly from its English inventor, William Henry Fox Talbot, set off on a lengthy photographic tour of the Mediterranean. He stopped for four months on the island of Malta, where he recorded views of ships and harbors, picturesque street scenes, and portraits of exotically costumed locals, including this group of bearded and robed Capuchin friars. The print shows four friars on a sunny rooftop. In the negative, however, the silhouette of a fifth man lurks just behind the others. All that was required to make him disappear was a touch of India ink on the negative. Jones was eager to market his photographs as souvenirs for tourists and probably felt that the fifth man crowded the composition.