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William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800 - 1877)
November 4, 1839
Photogenic drawing negative
5.6 x 6.8 cm (2 3/16 x 2 11/16 in.)
This image of Lacock Abbey, William Henry Fox Talbot's ancestral home in Wiltshire, England, is a negative, or reversed image. Talbot placed inside his
In the introductory remarks to The Pencil of Nature, published by Talbot from 1844 to 1846 and one of the first books illustrated with photographs, Talbot eloquently and proudly distinguished between traditional art media and the images that he could create by means of this new art: "[T]he plates of this work have been obtained by the mere action of Light upon sensitive paper. They have been formed or depicted by optical and chemical means alone, and without the aid of any one acquainted with the art of drawing." The statement, however, is not entirely true: Talbot's frustration with his own drafting skills while using the