William Henry Fox Talbot

The Ladder

April 1844
In arranging this image, Talbot possibly had assistance from the miniature painter and calotypist Henry Collen: "Mr. Collen, an artist, was experimenting with Mr. Talbot, and it was proposed that they should take a ladder and a loft door, which was very much above the level of the ground. Mr. Talbot of course pointed the camera up, and produced a very awkward effect, from the peculiar manner in which the lens was placed with reference to the object. Mr. Collen said, 'You are not going to take it so, surely!' Mr. Talbot replied,'We cannot take it in any other way; ' and, then Mr. Collen said, 'As an artist, I would not take it at all'." Talbot found a way. The surviving waxed negative is slightly retouched, as seen in the upper left part of this print.
Title
The Ladder
Date
April 1844
Medium
Photograph
Materials
salted paper print
Dimensions
19.1 x 22.8 cm; image: 17.1 x 18.3 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1975
Accession number
33487.34