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Lock & Whitfield
Review of "Men of Mark" - Second series
1877, 14 December
The British Journal of Photography, Vol.XXIV, No.919, December 14, 1877, p.594-595.
Men of Mark. (Second series).
London ; Sampson Low And Co.
If we were asked to indicate any special collection of portraits we should recommend to photographers as containing the most perfect studies of light and shade and breadth combined with sharpness, we should unhesitatingly name Men of Mark as that which fulfilled best these conditions. This work was commenced last year under the superintending care of Mr. George C. Whitfield, a member of the firm of Lock and Whitfield, and the first series having been concluded at the close of 1876 a second series was commenced, and is now completed under the same management. The present series of Men of Mark contains thirty-six portraits of "men distinguished in the senate, the church, in science, literature, and art, the army, navy, law and medicine." With two exceptions all these portraits have been taken by Messrs. Lock and Whitfield, these exceptions being Jules Verne (by M. Adam-Salomon) and Victor Hugo (by M. Carjat). The introduction of such portraits affords an opportunity of comparing the works of distinguished foreign artists with those of equal distinction in this oountry, with a result which must be gratifying to those good patriots who cannot discover anything abroad which surpasses "our own glorious constitution and institutions." Among the thirty-six portraits here presented there are indeed many "men of mark." Opening with Mr. Frederick Leighton, R.A, whose portrait is in profile, we soon come upon the open, honest face of Professor Tyndall, by which we are reminded that "once upon a time" it was our good fortune to receive a volume of portraits of men who were famous in the world of science, that of Professor Tyndall forming one of the number. These portraits of a former period are now "faded and withered;" most of them, in fact, seem to have been bleached out of the paper upon which they were printed. With the "men of mark" in the volume now under review no such fading can possibly take place, these portraits being printed by the Woodbury process, which is a guarantee not only for the faithful rendering of a negative but of absolute permanence. The portraits respectively of Mr. William Black, the Right Hon. Sir Stafford Northcote, Sir George Biddell Airy, the Hon. Sir William R, Grove, and Sir John Lubbock are exceedingly striking for their lifelike fidelity. Captain Burnaby, of Asiatic celebrity, Mr. Gustave Dore, Sir John Gilbert, the Right Hon. Lyon Playfair, Mr. James Nasmyth, and others of equal celebrity, are all here assembled, forming, out of elements of a diversified character, one harmonious whole. It need scarcely be said that a page of descriptive and biographical text accompanies each portrait, written by Mr. Thompson Cooper, F.S. A. The characteristics of these portraits are singular clearness, perfection of detail, skilful posing, and light and shade rendered in the most unexceptionable manner. We commend Men of Mark as a study to photographers.