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A Quiet Day in the Mortar Battery

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).




Roger Fenton
English, 1819–1869

About this artwork

Socially well connected and prominent in photographic circles, Roger Fenton was commissioned to document the British military during the Crimean War. He spent March through June 1855 with the troops, producing 350 wet-plate glass negatives in his horse-drawn darkroom; they were later shown in exhibitions and published in portfolios for purchase. Because of technical limitations and his presumed upper-end clientele, these earliest images of war do not depict death and battle, but rather a more civilized—even languid, as seen here—view of the conflict. Hugh Edwards maintained that practicing photographers and the public needed to learn from past masters, and he acquired two albums of Fenton’s Crimean photographs.


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Photography and Media


Roger Fenton


A Quiet Day in the Mortar Battery


England (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1855


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


Printed recto, on mount, lower left, in black ink: "Deposé"; recto, on mount, lower right, in black ink: "A quiet day in the Mortar Battery."; recto, on mount, along bottom edge, in black ink: "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


Image/paper: 24 × 34.6 cm (9 1/2 × 13 5/8 in.); Mount: 41.7 × 53 cm (16 7/16 × 20 7/8 in.)

Credit Line

Photography Gallery Fund

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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