About this artwork
A gentleman-scholar with an intense interest in science, William Henry Fox Talbot was one of the inventors of photography. His negative-positive process—using paper negatives to create potentially limitless prints—enabled the duplication and dissemination of images with relative ease. Among the many consequences of this new technology, it revolutionized the reproduction of art, as paintings, lithographs, and etchings could be made in reduced or enlarged sizes. For Talbot photography was intimately related to mass production, and in 1844 he set up the Reading Establishment, which printed his calotypes and published the world’s first commercial photographically illustrated book, The Pencil of Nature. This image, depicting the title page of a Royal Society of London publication featuring an address by Isaac Newton, reveals both Talbot’s reverence for this august scientific group and his interest in photography as an improvement on the traditions of print reproduction.
Currently Off View
- William Henry Fox Talbot
- Copy of the Title Page for "Inclytae Regiae Societati Londinensi"
- Salted paper print
- Printed recto, center, in brown: "INCLYTÆ / REGIÆ SOCIETATI / LONDINENSI."; recto, along bottom edge, in brown: "Anna Wasera Tigurina fec. Jos. Nutting Sculp. / Sumptibus D. Isaaci Newton [encircled] Equitis Aurati, Societatis Regalis Præsidis, & C"; inscribed verso, lower right, in graphite: "5" [encircled]
- 19.5 × 14.1 cm (image); 22.2 × 18.4 cm (paper)
- Edward E. Ayer Endowment in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson