The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot

Schaaf, Larry J.

Published by Princeton University Press, 2000
ISBN 10: 0691050007 / ISBN 13: 9780691050003
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Book and BroDart protected jacket are without faults. Gift quality. First edition / first printing. Ships in bubble wrap in box. Due to large size and weight $10. domestic postage is required. Bookseller Inventory #

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William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) is best remembered as the scientist who invented photography. Others had tried recording the images projected by a lens, but Talbot was the first to grasp the physical basis for realizing this dream and to conceive of a practical means for fixing these ephemeral images permanently onto a sheet of paper. But Talbot's considerable technical achievements have often overshadowed his growth as an artist. Larry Schaaf examines this artistic growth by bringing together for the first time high quality reproductions of one hundred photographs representing the full sweep of Talbot's work. These beautiful images are not only records of scientific triumphs, but also the evidence of the first steps in shaping a totally new type of vision.


A classicist, physicist, and mathematician by training, Talbot originally viewed his new invention as a means of visual documentation, particularly of the botanical specimens he loved so dearly. But gradually his new technology taught him to see, and the growth of Talbot's personal vision defined the beginnings of modern photography. The resulting corpus of work ranged from seminal early images rich in primal beauty to later, fully sophisticated photographs. Illuminating these images with excerpts from Talbot's own writings and those of his contemporaries, this book is a visual celebration of the early days of photography.


The one hundred plates are reproduced in the actual size of the originals and in all the subtle colors that comprised Talbot's early work. They range from Talbot's Lilliputian pre-1839 negatives (made in "mousetrap" cameras) through botanical photograms to mid-1840s calotypes that demonstrate a sure command of the new art. Each plate is discussed in detail, drawing on important new research conducted by the author.


Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Talbot's birth, The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot will not only deepen our understanding of early photography but will also serve as an important archive for those who may never have the pleasure to witness firsthand these rare and fragile works. As such, this beautifully produced book is an essential addition to the library of anyone who collects, studies, and admires photography.


Review: Photography is such a constant in our culture that we've forgotten that years ago it must have seemed more like magic than art, science, or craft. The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot brings us back to the spectacular moment of wonder when photography was first invented. Talbot, born 200 years ago, was a successful mathematician and frustrated draftsman when he invented photography out of his personal desire to make more realistic drawings. He saw his new process as a way for nature to make her own perfect pictures.

Talbot first experimented with salts of silver that produced sun-darkened shadows of objects placed on paper. Many experiments later, he realized that negatives could be reversed, and was eventually able to produce multiple prints. Apart from the brilliance of his invention, the images that Talbot captured are beautiful and mysterious. Softer than modern photography, these pictures look like paintings: gentle leaves, breath-taking sunlight glowing through windows, negatives of intricate lace, reproductions of paintings, and posed pictures of family. Talbot varied the size of his images, making tiny prints from boxes he called mousetraps (a mouselike perspective on the world) to larger landscape portraits. The magic resonates with a thoughtfulness that may have resulted from the slow process of early image-making. How amazing it must have been, seeing and creating the world on paper for the very first time. Aside from the spectacular pictures, the text covers Talbot's life and his experimental processes, and each of the 100 images is given its own explanatory text. --J.P. Cohen

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox ...
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: 1st Edition

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Schaaf, Larry J.
Published by Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford (2000)
ISBN 10: 0691050007 ISBN 13: 9780691050003
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Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very good. Dust Jacket Condition: very good. First edition. 264pp. Quarto [33.5 cm] Blue cloth over boards, with only negligible warping to the boards. May require extra postage due to weight. A beautifully produced book published to coincide with the two hundredth anniversary of Talbot's birth. Seller Inventory # 53068

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Book Description Princeton University Press September 2000, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Used - Good. William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) is best remembered as the scientist who invented photography. Others had tried recording the images projected by a lens, but Talbot was the first to grasp the physical basis for realizing this dream and to conceive of a practical means for fixing these ephemeral images permanently onto a sheet of paper. But Talbot's considerable technical achievements have often overshadowed his growth as an artist. Larry Schaaf examines this artistic growth by bringing together for the first time high quality reproductions of one hundred photographs representing the full sweep of Talbot's work. These beautiful images are not only records of scientific triumphs, but also the evidence of the first steps in shaping a totally new type of vision. A classicist, physicist, and mathematician by training, Talbot originally viewed his new invention as a means of visual documentation, particularly of the botanical specimens he loved so dearly. But gradually his new technology taught him to see, and the growth of Talbot's personal vision defined the beginnings of modern photography. The resulting corpus of work ranged from seminal early images rich in primal beauty to later, fully sophisticated photographs. Illuminating these images with excerpts from Talbot's own writings and those of his contemporaries, this book is a visual celebration of the early days of photography. The one hundred plates are reproduced in the actual size of the originals and in all the subtle colors that comprised Talbot's early work. They range from Talbot's Lilliputian pre-1839 negatives (made in 'mousetrap' cameras) through botanical photograms to mid-1840s calotypes that demonstrate a surecommand of the new art. Each plate is discussed in detail, drawing on important new research conducted by the author. Published to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Talbot's birth, 'The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot' will not only deepen our understanding of early photography but will also serve as an important archive for those who may never have the pleasure to witness firsthand these rare and fragile works. As such, this beautifully produced book is an essential addition to the library of anyone who collects, studies, and admires photography. Commemorating the 200th anniversary of Talbot's birth, Schaaf examines the artistic growth of the scientist who revolutionized photography by bringing together for the first time high-quality, actual-size reproductions of 100 photographs representing the full sweep of Talbot's work. 120 color plates. Book has minor shelf wear. No Dust Jacket. Seller Inventory # 153397

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Book Description Princeton University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Good. Hard bound in dust jacket. Some wear to dust jacket corners and edges, otherwise very good. Interior clean and binding sound. [Large and Heavy - Please contact for overseas shipping quote]. Seller Inventory # 46233

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Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good+. Dust Jacket Condition: Good. First edition. 2000, First Edition. Hardcover, blue cloth. Large 4to. Illustrated throughout. A Very Good+, clean, square copy with light edgewear, in a Good dust jacket that is clean and attractive, but has numerous tears (some a few inches deep) along the folds. An excellent copy in an average dust jacket. Seller Inventory # 0080971

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Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. 1st Edition. Dark blue cloth, spine panel lettered in gold foil. As issued. Sepia pictorial dust jacket shows minor surface rubbing to rear panel, otherwise as issued, now in mylar. 264 pp., illus. w/ 100 full-page plates. 1st ptg., complete number line. Size: Folio - over 12" - 15" tall. Book. Seller Inventory # 044414

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SCHAAF, Larry J. and William Henry Fox Talbot
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Book Description Princeton University Press, Princeton, NJ, 2000. First edition. Hardcover. First printing. 264 pages. Text by Larry J. Schaaf. Includes 100 plates. A fine copy in a fine dust jacket. Seller Inventory # 150137

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Book Description Princeton University Press, 2000. Hardcover. Condition: Good. Reprint. Ships with Tracking Number! INTERNATIONAL WORLDWIDE Shipping available. May not contain Access Codes or Supplements. May be ex-library. Shipping & Handling by region. Buy with confidence, excellent customer service!. Seller Inventory # 0691050007q

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Book Description Princeton University Press. Condition: Used - Very Good. 2000. Cloth. Folio. 264 pp. Profusely illustrated. Mild shelf wear and scuffing to dust jacket otherwise protected by acetate cover. Altogether a copy in Very Good condition. Seller Inventory # Q10851

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