Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Isle

Object Details


Lindisfarne Priory, Holy Isle


Roger Fenton (English, 1819 - 1869)




Lindisfarne, Northumbria, England (Place created)




Salted paper print


30.3 x 37.1 cm (11 15/16 x 14 5/8 in.)

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Roger Fenton described the French architectural photographs he had seen in Paris as "subjects…equally interesting to the antiquarian and the lover of the picturesque." He could easily have been writing about his own work.

The French government's commissions to document and preserve their national historical monuments greatly impressed Fenton. A similar preservation movement, privately funded, was thriving in England when he undertook a series of photographs of Lindisfarne Priory in Northumbria. In this image, the soaring arch over the crossing of nave and transept still stands triumphant amidst the rubble. The seated figure in the foreground lends dramatic evidence of the original structure's massive scale, still intact enough to reveal its vaulted splendor.

Roger Fenton (South Bank Centre) (February 4 to April 17, 1988)
  • The Hayward Gallery (London), February 4 to April 17, 1988
Roger Fenton (January 24 to March 26, 1989)
  • Yale Center for British Art (New Haven), January 24 to March 26, 1989
All the Mighty World: The Photographs of Roger Fenton, 1852 - 1860 (October 17, 2004 to January 2, 2006) (24)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), October 17, 2004 to January 2, 2005
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 1 to April 24, 2005
  • The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), May 24 to August 21, 2005
  • Tate Britain (London), September 21, 2005 to January 2, 2006