Previous Back To Search Results Next
Brixham Trawlers Gale, Joseph Colonel  (British, 1835-1906)

One of the first photographs in which Mr. Gale achieved success after the introduction of gelatine plates was ‘Brixham Trawlers,’ a pleasing natural picture in which the subtle beauty of a well-known effect upon the sea is admirably caught, and in which the grouping of the boats gives feeling of distance, and is most effectively characteristic of the subject. It is very noticeable in almost all photographers’ attempts at ‘landscape with figures’ that the best are those in which the accessories selected for the interest they add to the scene, are inanimate objects, or at least figures unconscious of the photographer and his intention. Now and again a very natural figure study is seen, as in several of Mr. Gale’s photographs, but the human element appears to be very generally too much for the methods of the ordinary photographer. Descriptive text by George Davison

Sun Artist was the first publication in England to represent ‘the artistic position of photography’. The Journal is a significant example of photogravure in the history of the photographically illustrated book. Sun Artists was published in eight parts between October 1889 and July 1891. Each Issue was devoted to the work of a single British photographer, illustrated by four hand-pulled photogravures, together with an introductory descriptive essay. Particular care was taken by the publisher of Sun Artists to identify the individuals who prepared the photogravures for publication, all leading exponents of photogravure at the time. Mr Dawson of the Typographic Etching Company, himself an acclaimed photographer, made the etchings for Issue 1. Mr Cameron Swan of Messrs Annan and Swan made those for Issues 2, 3, and 4 while the etchings for Issues 5-8 were made by Mr W.L. Colls. (Hannavy V2)

These exceptional issues highlight those men and women who best express the period’s rich Pictorialist dialogue between painting and photography, the rise of the Secession Movement, and a turning point "in the ways photographs were made for the pages of books" (Truthful Lens, 41) – namely in the photogravure process of "printing photographs from an etched copper plate" -as seen in these 32 superb hand-pulled gravures (Harker, 168).

The photographers included are: J. Gale (essay by (George Davison); H.P. Robinson (essay by Andrew Pringle); J.B.B. Wellington (essay by Graham Balfour); Lydell Sawyer (essay by Rev. F.C. Lambert); Julia M. Cameron (essay by P.H. Emerson); B. Gay Wilkinson (essay by Rev. F.C. Lambert); F.W.H. Myers (essay by John Addington Symonds); and Frank Sutcliffe (essay by Charles N. Armfield). Sun Artists was issued in two states, a regular edition and an edition of 100 numbered copies on India proof paper, with the photogravures signed in pencil by the artists, with the exception of Julia Margaret Cameron who had already died.

References

McCaully – History of Photography "Writing Photography’s History before Newhall " v 21 n 2 1997

Harker, Margaret. The Linked Ring: the Secession Movement in Photography in Britain, 1892-1910. London: Heinemann, 1979. Print.

Hannavy John. 2008. Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. New York NY: Routledge.

Gernsheim, Helmut. The History of Photography: The Age of Collodion. London: Thames and Hudson, 1989. p.44

Goldschmidt Lucien Weston J Naef and Grolier Club. 1980. The Truthful Lens : A Survey of the Photographically Illustrated Book 1844-1914. 1st ed. New York: Grolier Club

Weaver, Mike. British Photography in the Nineteenth Century: The Fine Art Tradition. Cambridge [United States: University Press, 1989. p. 157-8