On the Llugwy, near Bettws-y-Coed
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Roger Fenton
British, Wales, 1857
Albumen silver print
14 x 16 5/8 in.

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Wearing a cap from his days in the Crimea, Roger Fenton sits perched on a rock at one side of the Llugwy River. Fenton's presence implicitly invites the viewer to imagine themselves in his place, reading a guidebook and enjoying the surrounding scenery. The tiny figure, within the vast and dramatic expanse of nature, encourages the viewer to see the landscape as a place for reflection and reverie.

Fenton's carefully composed view evokes the Arcadian visions of seventeenth-century landscape painters like Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin. The viewer journeys through distinct stages of the landscape-from the detailed rocks and figures in the foreground, to the softer trees and reflections of the middle distance, to the hazy silhouette of the far-off mountains.