Loading Spinner

William Henry Fox Talbot (1800 - 1877)

Lot 5: WILLIAM HENRY FOX TALBOT

Christie's

May 18, 2005
London, United Kingdom

More About this Item


Description

Oak Tree in Winter, probably 1842/43
salt print from calotype negative, clipped corners [Schaaf 1981]
7 5/8 x 6 1/2 in. (19.3 x 16.4cm.)

Artist or Maker

WILLIAM HENRY FOX TALBOT

Literature

L.J. Schaaf, The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot, Princeton & Oxford, 2000, p.150, pl.59, for a variant with borders; H. Gernsheim, The Origins of Photography, London, 1982, back of jacket and p.204, pl.137; G. Buckland, Fox Talbot and the Invention of Photography, London, 1980, p.169.

Provenance

As previous lot.

Notes

Talbot had a keen interest in botany and horticulture, and trees were one of his favourite photographic subjects. In a letter, dated 18 March 1841, to the eminent scientist and photo-historian Robert Hunt (1807-1887), Talbot wrote that "old oak trees [were] very much to [his] taste" 1 and enclosed a few prints, among them an image of an elm tree in winter, which greatly impressed Hunt. Talbot took a number of tree images in winter for he delighted in delineating the intricate detail of the bare twigs, as seen in his Oak Tree in Winter. Of this image Larry J. Schaaf observed, "Majestic and alone, the oak presents itself here as master of the landscape." 2

The William Henry Fox Talbot Trust holds the waxed negative and a print; the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Bradford holds 14 prints; the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. holds one; and the J. Paul Getty Museum holds another. This is one of only a few known prints in private hands.

1 L.J. Schaaf, The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot, University of Glasgow, http://www.foxtalbot.arts.gla.ac.uk, document 04218.

2 The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot, Princeton & Oxford, 2000, p.150.

No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.

Request more information

Photographs

by
Christie's
May 18, 2005, 12:00 AM EST

London, United Kingdom