Small 4to, (250 x 300 mm), pp. xxvi, 406 (including 601 illustrations); cloth-bound with pictorial dust-jacket.
US $105 €95
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Carrying Off the Palaces: John Ruskin’s Lost Daguerreotypes.
The inspiration for this book was a remarkable discovery made by the authors at a small country auction in 2006. One lightly regarded lot was a distressed mahogany box crammed with long-lost early photographs. These daguerreotypes were later confirmed as once belonging to John Ruskin, the great 19th-century art critic, writer, artist and social reformer. Moreover, the many scenes of Italy, France and Switzerland included the largest collection of daguerreotypes of Venice in the world and probably the earliest surviving photographs of the Alps.
Core to this book is a fully illustrated catalogue raisonné of the 325 known John Ruskin daguerreotypes. The overwhelming majority of the newly-discovered plates are published here for the first time. There are an additional 276 illustrations in the text and an essay describing the technical procedures used in conserving Ruskin’s photographs. Ten chapters extensively study Ruskin’s photographic endeavours. A chronology, glossary, twenty-page bibliography and comprehensive index complete this handsome hardback book.
Winner of The Apollo Awards 2015: Book of the Year and The Ruskin Society Book Prize.
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The Russian Shores of the Black Sea in the Autumn of 1852 with a Voyage down the Volga, and a Tour through the Country of the Don Cossacks ... Second Edition – Revised and Enlarged.
Second edition, revised and enlarged. The diplomat and traveller Oliphant (1829-1888) and his companion Oswald Smith journeyed through Russia and the Crimea shortly before the outbreak of the Crimean War, and his overview of the region also includes details of visits to Nizhnii Novgorod (which is depicted in the frontispiece) and other Russian cities, including Sevastapol, which Oliphant and Smith entered in disguise in order to map its fortifications. Nerhood considers that Oliphant ‘describes places and people in an informative way, especially the long journey down the Volga River, with its peculiar means of transportation and the peoples along its banks’, and this, together with the approach of the Crimean War (which led Lord Raglan to approach Oliphant for information), ensured the work’s popularity. The first edition appeared in late 1853 as the Crimean War broke out (an advertisement on p. 10 of The Times of 25 October 1853 describes it as ‘preparing for publication’) and this second edition was published shortly afterwards (the preface is dated December 1853), with an additional chapter, since ‘[t]he Eastern Question has now assumed so serious an aspect, that facts connected with the Russian Shores of the Black Sea, which at the period of my visit in 1852 were devoid of any special political interest, are invested with the utmost importance, for it is possible that the southern portion of the Empire may shortly become the theatre of war, and considerations, the value of which I scarcely appreciated a few months ago, have since occurred to me as possessing strong claims upon our attention’ (p. [v]). Third and fourth editions, which were reprints of this second edition, appeared in 1854.
C[OLOMBO]. A[POTHECARIES]. CO. LTD.
Caryota Urens (Kitul), Botanical Study,
Charles Scowen arrived in Ceylon around 1873 and was initially an assistant to R. Edley, the Commission Agent in Kandy before opening a photographic studio around 1876. By 1885 his photography firm had studios in Colombo and Kandy. Scowen was a later arrival to Ceylon than Skeen and his work is less well-known, but: ‘Much of Scowen’s surviving work displays an artistic sensibility and technical mastery which is often superior to their longer-established competitor. In particular, the botanical studies are outstanding…’ (Falconer, J. and Raheem, I., Regeneration: a reappraisal of photography in Ceylon 1850 –1900, p. 19). In the early 1890s the firm was being run by Mortimer Scowen, a relative of Charles Scowen. By about 1894 the firm’s stock of negatives had been acquired by the ‘Colombo Apothecaries Co Ltd’. This print is likely to have been made in the 1890s from negatives made earlier.