The Crimean War 1855
A British solicitor with an artistic bent, Roger Fenton took up the
paintbrush and then, after seeing photography on display at the Great
Exhibition in Hyde Park in 1851, the camera. Fenton shot landscapes
and portraits, and pictures of Queen Victoria’s children at
Windsor Castle in 1854. The next year, he was assigned by a print
dealer to cover the Crimean War, being waged by England and France
against Russia. Thus the war became the first conflict with any substantial
photographic record. Battling cholera and broken ribs, lugging his
developing lab on a horse-drawn carriage, Fenton produced 350 images.
They are stately and sedate for war photography, since neither the
queen nor Fenton’s sponsors wanted to see carnage or any evidence
of a war that was progressing badly.