Sunday, January 6, 2013

Antique Image of the Day: A Small Chapel in Tintern Abbey, Roger Fenton, 1854


A Small Chapel in Tintern Abbey, 1854
Roger Fenton
The Royal Collection

This photo by Roger Fenton(1819-1869) was taken at the ruins of Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire, South Wales in 1854.  The image was acquired by Prince Albert after it was exhibited at the Photographic Society.  Prince Albert and Queen Victoria were loyal patrons of the art of photography and, during their marriage, amassed an impressive collection of images.  Prince Albert was especially fond of Fenton’s work and the painterly way he approached his compositions.  Fenton’s flare for dramatic staging can be seen in this image which is at once both bucolic and slightly startling.  The juxtaposition of the young woman and her decaying surroundings makes an interesting statement. Prince Albert was known to commission Roger Fenton for special photographs which still remain in the Royal Collection.  Victoria continued collecting after her husband’s death.  By the time of her passing, she had collecting over 20,000 original photographs. 

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