[Study of Margam Hall with Figures]

Calvert Jonesabout 1845

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum
Los Angeles, United States

Reverend Calvert Richard Jones was a skilled draftsman, having been trained by the most prominent drawing master in England, James Duffield Harding. Although he remained an amateur artist, he well understood the problems of visual representation. Jones imagined that the most fitting use of the camera was in the field, where it could be used to record landscape and architecture, as in this study of Margam Hall near Swansea, Wales. The recently completed Gothic Revival mansion had been commissioned by Jones's friend Christopher "Kit" Talbot who was a cousin of William Henry Fox Talbot. Dissatisfied with the narrow field of vision of the lenses then in use, Jones invented the segmented panorama format, which he called simply "double pictures," whereby a series of slightly overlapping exposures could be joined to encompass a field of vision closer to that of the human eye. We see here the Talbot and Jones families gracefully positioned across the grounds of Margam Hall.

The Jones family frequently travelled with Kit Talbot's family. In the summer of 1843, Jones and his family visited Paris on their way to meet up with Talbot and his family in Italy. While in Paris, Jones stocked up on photographic materials and met with Hippolyte Bayard on several occasions during which they made photographs together (84.XO.968.92 and 84.XO.968.99). On a subsequent trip in November of 1845, the two families departed on Talbot's yacht to winter in the Mediterranean. Jones continued his field work using Fox Talbot's three-year-old calotype process in hopes of earning revenues from the sale of prints of faraway landscapes and monuments. The prints were to be produced in commercial quantities at Fox Talbot's establishment, near Reading. However, profits from the sales did not meet expenses.
Adapted from Weston Naef, The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Photographs Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), 26. © 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum; with additions by Carolyn Peter, J. Paul Getty Museum, Department of Photographs, 2019.


Get the app

Explore museums and play with Art Transfer, Pocket Galleries, Art Selfie, and more

Flash this QR Code to get the app
Google apps