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.

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