Skip to Content ☰ Open Filter >>


Showing 3 of 7

Roger Fenton, British, (March 1819–August 8, 1869)
Cooking House Of The 8th Hussars, c. 1855
Salt print
6 3/16 in. x 7 15/16 in. (15.75 cm x 20.12 cm)

Object Type: Photography
Credit Line: Gift of C. Jane Hurley Wilson '64 and Michael G. Wilson, Wilson Centre for Photography, London, UK
Accession Number: 2008.4.10

Although he painted and photographed various subjects, such as Queen Victoria and the royal family, throughout his career, Roger Fenton is most remembered for his photographs of the Crimean War (October 1853-February 1856), the first to document a war campaign. Following his formal education at University College, London, Fenton studied under the historical painter Charles Lucy (1814-1873). In 1841 or 1842, he traveled to Paris to train with painter Paul Delaroche (1797-1859), from whom Fenton likely received his photographic training. Soon thereafter, Fenton returned to London to study law, possibly deciding he was not talented enough to make a career out of painting. However, Fenton did continue his artistic pursuits. While in England, Fenton learned about the calotype process, and was one of twelve calotypists to form the Photographic Club in London in 1847. In 1854, Fenton accompanied Queen Victoria and Prince Albert throughout the Royal Photographic Society’s first exhibition. Fenton’s relationship with the royal couple eventually resulted in their patronage of his journey to the Crimea, though he was financed by the publisher Thomas Agnew & Sons, who wished to sell Fenton’s photographs to the public. While he had ample opportunity to explicitly record the horrors of war, Fenton was bound to produce photographs appropriate to delicate Victorian taste. Traveling with two assistants and a van that served as a darkroom, bedroom, and kitchen, Fenton photographed camp life and deserted battlefields, while overcoming almost insurmountable obstacles. Despite coming under Russian fire and enduring heat that negatively affected the photographic chemicals, Fenton managed to produce approximately 360 negatives. Most of Fenton’s photographs provide a positive, or neutral, view of the war. They indirectly reflect the conflict through their portrayal of the soldiers’ day-to-day camp life. Fenton photographed men talking, drinking, cooking, relaxing—performing typical social activities. One photograph created from Fenton’s negatives, Cooking House of the 8th Hussars, shows men in military uniforms sitting and standing around several large buckets. Although Fenton consistently posed his subjects, he depicted these men in a much more informal setting than he did higher-ranking officials. The hazy background results in an emphasis on the seemingly relaxed men in the foreground, and the decidedly routine task they perform. Ashley Newton ’10 Wilson Intern 2009

Object Description
"Group of men in military dress standing or sitting around some large pots or buckets. Printed title, photographer's & publisher's credit & dated on the mount."

Portfolio List Click a portfolio name to view all the objects in that portfolio
This object is a member of the following portfolios:

Your current search criteria is: Portfolio is "Photography" and [Objects]Display Artist is "Roger Fenton".