Previous Back To Search Results Next
General Bosquet – From The Exhibition of Photographic Pictures Taken in the Crimea Fenton, Roger  (British, 1819-1869)

With its debut in 1842, The Illustrated London News became the world’s first fully illustrated weekly newspaper, marking a revolution in journalism and news reporting. The publication presented a vivid picture of British and world events including news of war, disaster, ceremonies, the arts and science with coverage in the first issue ranging from the Great Fire of Hamburg to Queen Victoria’s fancy dress ball at Buckingham Palace. When the Crimean War broke out in September 1853 editor Herbert Ingram was more than ready for action. He dispatched six war artists, O. W. Brierly, J. W. Carmichael, J. A. Crowe, E. A. Goodall, G. H. Thomas, and Constantin Guys, to the front; for good measure he also published engravings of photographs taken by Roger Fenton, the world’s first war photographer. The artists became the first correspondents to accompany an army at war and send back reports. For three years readers were able to follow the Siege of Sevastopol, the assaults on the Redan and the Malakoff, and the battles of Balaclava and Inkerman in drawings and photographs. War had never been reported in such depth.

Fenton’s recordings of the Crimean War are considered the earliest war images in the history of photography. The recordings were converted into woodcuts and printed in the Illustrated London News. Contrary to the expectations, however, the recordings do not represent a battle on the battlefield. The long exposure time and the large, difficult to transport equipment made the work more difficult. For these reasons, mainly administrative and military events, British officers and their troops are depicted in everyday scenes from the camp. Simple soldiers were only regarded by Fenton as marginal figures, which is why he mostly photographed officers. [1]

Reproduced / Exhibited

Fenton, Roger, Helmut Gernsheim, and Alison Gernsheim. Roger Fenton, Photographer of the Crimean War: His Photographs and His Letters from the Crimea. , 1973. pl. 55

Faber, John. Great News Photos and the Stories Behind Them. New York: Dover Publications, 1978. no. 1, p. 13.


[1] Keller, Ulrich. The Ultimate Spectacle. A Visual History of the Crimean War. Amsterdam, 2001. p. 134)

Gordon, Sophie. Roger Fenton. Julia Margaret Cameron. Early British Photographs from the Royal Collection. London, 2010.

Gernsheim, Helmut. The Rise of Photography, 1850-1880: The Age of Collodion. London: Thames and Hudson, 1989. p 92