Waiting for the Boats Sawyer, Lyddell  (British, 1856-1927)

Sun Artists, Number 4

“I was born in photography, nursed in it, and have been continually ‘soaked’ in it ever since." Lydell Sawyer

While British photographer Lyddell Sawyer (1856-1927) was highly acclaimed at the end of the 19th century, today he is all but forgotten. Sawyer, a founding member of the Linked Ring, produced masterful images, often sophisticated staged tableaux, representing captured moments of everyday scenes. This “faultless” image according to Margret Hawker is no exception.

Published from 1889-91, Sun Artists represented a turning point “in the ways photographs were made for the pages of books” (Truthful Lens). Each of the eight issues included four state-of-the-art photogravures. Particular care was taken by the publisher of Sun Artists to identify the individuals who prepared the photogravures, all leading exponents of photogravure at the time. Other photographers included H.P. Robinson and Julia Margaret Cameron.

Today very few of Sawyer’s images survive. It is thanks to photogravure, that his legacy and work will endure.