William Henry Fox Talbot

The Open Door

April 1844
Talbot worked on the composition of "The Open Door", one of his best known photographs, for at least three years. The image is engaging both for its vernacular subject matter and its deep, inviting shadow. Talbot himself expressed its appeal: "We have sufficient authority in the Dutch school of art, for taking as subjects of representation scenes of daily and familiar occurrence. A painter's eye will often be arrested where ordinary people see nothing remarkable. A casual gleam of sunshine, or a shadow thrown across his path, a time-withered oak, or a moss-covered stone may awaken a train of thoughts and feelings, and picturesque imaginings."
Title
The Open Door
Date
April 1844
Medium
Photograph
Materials
salted paper print
Dimensions
18.9 x 23.2 cm; image: 14.6 x 19.5 cm
Nationality
British
Credit line
Purchased 1975
Accession number
33487.33