The Valley of the Shadow of Death

A work made of salted paper print, from the album "photographic pictures of the seat of war in the crimea" (1856).
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of salted paper print, from the album "photographic pictures of the seat of war in the crimea" (1856).

Date:

1855

Artist:

Roger Fenton
English, 1819–1869

About this artwork

Prominent in photographic circles and favored by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, Roger Fenton was commissioned to document the British military during the Crimean War; his pictures there represent one of the first uses of photography in wartime. He spent March through June 1855 with the troops, producing 360 wet-plate glass negatives in his horse-drawn darkroom. The laborious process and lengthy exposure times precluded photographs of battle, yet Fenton captured the psychological intensity of war in pictures such as The Valley of the Shadow of Death. A superficial sense of barren calm is belied by the numerous Russian cannonballs, which cover the ground to indicate past violence and suggest imminent future danger in the area. Fenton exhibited this and related images in London in the fall of 1855, provoking enormous public interest, and he published them in portfolio editions.

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Photography

Artist

Roger Fenton

Title

The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Origin

England

Date

1855

Medium

Salted paper print, from the album "Photographic Pictures of the Seat of War in the Crimea" (1856)

Inscriptions

Printed recto, on mount, lower left, in black ink: "Deposé"; recto, on mount, lower right, in black ink: "The Valley of the Shadow of Death."; recto, on mount, along bottom edge, in black ink: "No. 218. Photographed by R. Fenton. Manchester, Published by T. Agnew & Sons, Jan'y 1st 1856. / London, P. & D. Colnaghi H[?] Paris, Moulin, 23, Rue Richer. New York, Williams H[?]"; unmarked verso

Dimensions

27.2 × 36.4 cm (image/paper); 42.1 × 52.8 cm (mount)

Credit Line

Photography Gallery Fund

Reference Number

1959.611.17

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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