Part of Queen's College, Oxford

Accession Number

Part of Queen's College, Oxford

William Henry Fox Talbot

Artist Nationality
British (modern)

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
salted paper print

7 5/8 in x 9 3/8 in (19.37 cm x 23.81 cm);14 5/16 in x 19 5/16 in (36.35 cm x 49.05 cm);7 5/8 in x 9 3/8 in (19.37 cm x 23.81 cm);6 9/16 in x 8 1/16 in (16.67 cm x 20.48 cm)

Credit Line
Museum Purchase made possible by the Friends of the Museum of Art

Subject matter
As its title informs us, this photograph depicts a view of buildings associated with Queen’s College, in Oxford, England. The building on the left is featured most prominently, its weathered and stained façade filling the left side of the frame. Above three floors lined with large, grated windows is a frieze, which is topped by three figurative statues. The street runs past the building’s right side, where a church with some scaffolding climbing its exterior is assembled. The photographer, William Henry Fox Talbot, is largely considered the inventor of light sensitive paper and positive-negative photography. This image appears as the first plate in his seminal book, The Pencil of Nature, in which Talbot presents his invention and the art and application of “photographic drawing.” Due to the nature of using a thin paper negative, the positive image has a smooth, almost feathery delicacy. 

Physical Description
This photograph depicts a view of an old building with three floors of tall, grated windows, a frieze near its roof, topped with three statues. A street runs down the side of the building where there is a church with scaffolding on it.

Primary Object Classification

Collection Area

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alleys (streets)
architecture (discipline)
calotypes (negatives)
church towers
colleges (buildings)
colleges (institutions)
friezes (entablature components)
salted paper prints
street scenes

& Author Notes

Web Use Permitted