Robert Howlett, was a pioneering British photographer whose pictures are widely exhibited in major galleries. Howlett produced portraits of Crimean War heroes, genre scenes and landscapes. His photographs include the iconic picture of Isambard Kingdom Brunel which was part of a commission by the Illustrated Times to document the construction of the world's largest steamship, the SS Great Eastern.
He exhibited at the London Photographic Society and published "On the Various Methods of Printing Photographic Pictures upon Paper, with Suggestions for Their Preservation". He worked in partnership with Joseph Cundall at "The Photographic Institution" at New Bond Street, London.
Howlett made photographic studies for the artist William Powell Frith to assist him on his vast modern panorama painting The Derby Day which was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Arts in 1858.
Howlett was commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to photograph the frescoes in the new drawing-room at Buckingham Palace, make copies of the paintings by Raphael and make a series of portraits called 'Crimean Heroes' which was exhibited in 1857 the Photographic Society of London's annual exhibition.