1512065791

All the Mighty World. The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852-1860. Photographs by Roger Fenton. Text by Gordon Baldwin, Malcolm Daniel, and Sarah Greenough.

All the Mighty World.

The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852-1860.

Photographs by Roger Fenton. Text by Gordon Baldwin, Malcolm Daniel, and Sarah Greenough.
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2004. 288 pp., 85 tritone and 50 duotone illustrations, 11½x9½".

Most students of the history of photography are familiar with one particular image by Roger Fenton made during the Crimean War (1854-1856) and offered as an example of his systematic attempt to document war through photography. Valley of the Shadow of Death, made by Fenton during a four month stay in Crimea in 1855, shows a bleak, denuded, shallow valley littered with spent cannon balls. No humans appear in the image, but the impressions of a passing battle are strongly felt. What is far less known to most is the full extent of his work both before and after the Crimean War. All the Mighty World seeks to remedy this situation by handsomely reproducing nearly 90 images from each genre in which he worked, including landscape, portraiture, architecture, and early travel work. The chapter on the British Museum is particularly fascinating for its presentation of artifacts from their permanent collection. Fenton worked with several early photographic processes that included glass and paper negatives which were then contact printed onto either salted paper prints or, eventually, albumen prints. Yale University Press, in association with The Metropolitan Museum of Art, have taken great pains to exactingly reproduce the tonal range of his original prints. The result is a boon to all history connoisseurs.

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