The LadderEnlarge image

The Ladder, April 1844

William Henry Fox Talbot
British, 1800 - 1877
salted paper print
Printed by Nicolaas Henneman
19.1 x 22.8 cm; image: 17.1 x 18.3 cm
Purchased 1975
National Gallery of Canada (no. 33487.34)

portrait, group, males, exterior;
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.




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