Calvert R. Jones

Colosseum, Rome, 2nd View

c. February-May 1846
William Henry Fox Talbot hoped for others to take up his new art, and no one met these hopes quite so perfectly as did the Reverend Calvert R. Jones. More inclined towards being an artist than a minister, Jones was a close friend and travelling companion of Christopher "Kit" Rice Mansell Talbot, Henry Talbot's cousin and the wealthiest commoner in Britain. It is possibly Jones himself and almost certainly his wife, Anne, in the foreground, with a mysterious figure closer to the Colosseum providing scale. In comparison with the idealized settings of the majority of hand-engraved prints, the truthfulness of photography shows just how tranquil, indeed almost abandoned, this area of Rome was at the time of Jones's visit. Today, surrounded by urban bustle and choked by long queues of tourists, we need the testimony of photography to believe that it could ever have been different.
Colosseum, Rome, 2nd View
c. February-May 1846
salted paper print
19.7 x 24.7 cm; image: 18.6 x 22.4 cm
Credit line
Purchased 1967
Accession number

More from Calvert R. Jones