Description: Málaga, 110 vista desde el faro, c.1858
Dimensions: 32 x 43, 4 cm
Artist or Maker: Charles Clifford (1819 -1863)
Medium: Papel albuminado, Albumen print, 32 x 43, 4 cm, tiraje de época, vintage
Literature: Clifford en España, un fotógrafo en la corte de Isabel II (1997) p. 209 variante
A Photographic A photographic scramble through Spain (1861)
Notes: Only known photograph of this view of Malaga unframed and in this format. Printed on the photograph is number 110, which corresponds to the catalogue number in A Photographic Scramble through Spain.
In lot 28, there is a reframed version of this photograph for commercialization, although it still has a larger format than those known of this view. We have reproduced above, a known version from the collection of Juan Antonio Fernández Rivero from Malaga, who has kindly lent us this image for the catalogue and made the text to contextualize the realization of this photographs.
Clifford & Málaga
Charles Clifford visited and photographed Malaga twice, in 1859 and in 1862 as a photographer of Isabel II. Of these ima- ges, the best known are the seven included in the album real trip to Andalusia and Murcia.
Lee Fontanella included in his famous collection of works of Clifford eight photographs from Málaga, numbered from 425 to 432. Except for the first (425), the others are those in the album of the royal trip. Among them are four (427,428,430,431) in the ephemeral appearing arches raised for the visit, and are there- fore made on that occasion. Of the other three no security and timing of any could match his previous visit.
This first visit is documented in a publication's own Charles Clif- ford: "Photographic Scramble trought Spain", 1861, and thanks to the recent discovery of a letter from our author, dated Malaga and addressed to the secretary of the Duke of Montpensier, we know that He conducted in July 1859.
Returning to our relationship, photographs 425 and 426 in the catalog of Fontanella are two variants of a panoramic west to east in which highlight the great mass of the Cathedral and Mount Gibralfaro, both taken in the vicinity of what most later became the Civil Hospital, the first northeast of it, actually very close Guadalmedina river course, and the second near the con- vent of the Trinity environment.
But the most intriguing about Malaga photographs of Clifford are the two titles in the "Photographic Scramble ...", in addition to a written his travels in Spain review it contains a catalog of photographs numbered 1 to 171. Málaga two titles appear lite- rally:
110. View from the Lighthouse
111. View from the Carmelite Convent
I confess that these two photographs had intrigued me since the publication of my history of photography Malaga in 1994, because at that time did not get any of exemplary locate either. Years later came a new piece to the collection fulfilled the con- ditions of the first, ie had been taken from the top of the ligh- thouse of Malaga, and therefore the dome of the Cathedral silhouetted in a particular area of the mountainous silhouette background. To examine it closely, a tiny strokes in black ink stains seemed simple in principle, were perfectly set up the number "110", which immediately interacted with the numbering of the catalog, so there was no doubt. Later in the monograph on Clifford auction by Juan Naranjo in 2015 came two more co- pies of this picture.
As for the number 111 it has not yet appeared no copy. The view should be recognizable because the Carmelite convent in prin- ciple should be that existed alongside the current Carmen's Church, near the beaches of San Andres. Odd choice to take a view of the city being the area at sea level, could be that Clif- ford mistook the name of the convent and actually try a photo- graph taken from the vicinity of the convent of the Trinity ?. Certainly more suitable to be on high ground choice. In this case photography could correspond with panoramic 426.
On the other hand another question arises, whether made in 1859 Clifford other photographs of Malaga, as we have indica- ted why not include them in its catalog of "Scramble" ?.
The correct dating and identification of Malaga Clifford images raises these doubts. Let us hope that time and fortune bring us news that will help us achieve.
Juan Antonio Fernández Rivero Fotohistoriador y coleccionista Photo historian & collector
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