Bust of Patroclus

A work made of salted paper print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

Image actions

  • A work made of salted paper print.

Date:

August 9, 1843

Artist:

William Henry Fox Talbot
English, 1800–1877

About this artwork

Like many educated and wealthy Victorians, Talbot possessed a strong grounding in the classics. This plaster cast of Patroclus, the loyal defender of Achilles—made from a marble original in the British Museum—was a favorite subject for Talbot. Besides kindly remaining still for lengthy exposures, the sculpture also offered broad modulations of light and shadow that the relatively insensitive material of the paper print could capture well in the camera. Between 1839 and 1843, Talbot made at least 47 separate images of Patroclus alone, plus several others in which the bust was an element. He also included a photograph of Patroclus in his important 1844 publication, The Pencil of Nature, a compendium of Talbot’s undertakings in photography that is also one of the earliest photo-illustrated books.

Currently Off View

Photography

Artist

William Henry Fox Talbot

Title

Bust of Patroclus

Origin

England

Date

1843

Medium

Salted paper print

Inscriptions

Etched into negative and printed on recto: "9 Aug 1843 [?]"; inscribed recto, upper center, above image, in graphite: a line; unmarked verso

Dimensions

14.9 × 14.5 cm (image); 23.2 × 18.9 cm (paper)

Credit Line

Edward E. Ayer Endowment in memory of Charles L. Hutchinson

Reference Number

1972.351

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 .

Share

Sign up for our enewsletter to receive updates.

Learn more

Image actions

Share