Robinson, Henry Peach

born July 9, 1830, Ludlow, Shropshire, Eng.
died Feb. 21, 1901, Tunbridge Wells

British photographer.

Tiring of doing portraits, he turned to "high art" photographs, which imitated the anecdotal genre paintings popular at the time, creating them by pasting together parts of several negatives ("combination printing"). His photograph Fading Away (1858), depicting the peaceful death of a young girl surrounded by her grieving family, skillfully combines five different negatives. He used costumed models to shoot bucolic scenes in his studio. His Pictorial Effect in Photography (1869) was for decades the most influential book in English on photographic practice.

* * *

▪ British photographer
born July 9, 1830, Ludlow, Shropshire, England
died February 21, 1901, Tunbridge Wells, Kent

      English photographer whose Pictorialist photographs and writings made him one of the most influential photographers of the second half of the 19th century.

      At age 21 Robinson was an amateur painter precocious enough to have one of his paintings hung at the Royal Academy in London. Photography, however, was his real passion. In 1857 he opened a photographic studio in Leamington, England. In addition to commercial portraiture, he began to make photographs that imitated the themes and compositions of the anecdotal genre paintings popular at the time. He created photographs such as Juliet with the Poison Bottle (1857), his earliest-known work, by combining separate negatives into a composite picture, utilizing a process known as combination printing. Although he sometimes used natural settings, he more often imitated the out-of-doors inside his studio. Costumed actors or society ladies modeled for his many bucolic scenes, since he found actual country people too awkward and dull to fit his ideal of the picturesque.

 In 1858 Robinson exhibited Fading Away, a picture skillfully printed from five different negatives. This work depicted the peaceful death of a young girl surrounded by her grieving family. Although the photograph was the product of Robinson's imagination, many viewers felt that such a scene was too painful to be tastefully rendered by such a literal medium as photography. The controversy, however, made him the most famous photographer in England and the leader of the Pictorialist movement, which advocated achieving painterly effects in photography.

      Robinson's subsequent works, such as The Lady of Shalott (1861) and Autumn (1863), were so widely admired that he published Pictorial Effect in Photography (1869), a handbook that for decades remained the most influential work in English on photographic practice and aesthetics. This work and essays by Robinson based on it were widely printed and translated, giving his aesthetic ideas great currency. In 1886, however, the book was violently attacked by the photographer Peter Henry Emerson (Emerson, Peter Henry), who argued that photographic images should never be altered after exposure and also decried Robinson's practice of using costumed models and painted backdrops. Nevertheless, Robinson continued to receive official honours, and in 1892 he became a founding member of the Linked Ring, an association of prestigious art photographers.

Additional Reading
Margaret F. Harker, Henry Peach Robinson: Master of Photographic Art, 1830–1901 (1988).

* * *

Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Robinson, Henry Peach — (9 jul. 1830, Ludlow, Shropshire, Inglaterra–21 feb. 1901, Tunbridge Wells). Fotógrafo británico. Aburrido de pintar retratos, se concentró en la fotografía artística, que imitaba las anecdóticas pinturas de género, populares en aquella época,… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Henry Peach Robinson — (* 9. Juli 1830 in Linney, Ludlow in Shropshire, England; † 21. Februar 1901 in Tunbridge Wells, (Grafschaft Kent)[1]) war ein englischer Fotograf und Fotografie Theoretiker des 19. Jahrhunderts. Er war Mitbegründer der Brotherhood of the Linked… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Henry Peach Robinson — (July 9,1830 in Ludlow, Shropshire – February 21, 1901) was an English Pictorialist photographer best known for his pioneering combination printing joining multiple negatives to form a single image, the precursor to photomontage. Oscar Gustave… …   Wikipedia

  • Henry Peach Robinson — The Lady of Shalott por Henry Peach Robinson. Henry Peach Robinson fotógrafo inglés nacido en 1830 y muerto en 1901, comenzó su carrera artística como pintor de la escuela prerrafealista, profesión que abandonó para dedicarse a la fotografía,… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Henry Peach Robinson — fotógrafo inglés nacido en 1830 y muerto en 1901, comenzó su carrera artística como pintor de la escuela prerrafealista, profesión que abandonó para dedicarse a la fotografía, abriendo un estudio fotográfico en 1857. Inicialmente aplicó a sus… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Robinson — /rob in seuhn/, n. 1. Bill ( Bojangles ), 1878 1949, U.S. tap dancer. 2. Boardman /bawrd meuhn, bohrd /, 1876 1952, U.S. painter and illustrator, born in Nova Scotia. 3. Edward G. (Emanuel Goldenberg), 1893 1973, U.S. actor, born in Rumania. 4.… …   Universalium

  • henry — /hen ree/, n., pl. henries, henrys. Elect. the SI unit of inductance, formally defined to be the inductance of a closed circuit in which an electromotive force of one volt is produced when the electric current in the circuit varies uniformly at a …   Universalium

  • Henry — /hen ree/, n. 1. Joseph, 1797 1878, U.S. physicist. 2. O., pen name of William Sydney Porter. 3. Patrick, 1736 99, American patriot, orator, and statesman. 4. Cape, a cape in SE Virginia at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. 5. Fort. See …   Universalium

  • Robinson — (De Robinsón Crusoe, protagonista de una novela de Daniel Defoe.) ► sustantivo masculino Persona solitaria capaz de valerse y bastarse por sí misma: ■ sus viajes y aventuras le han convertido en un robinsón . * * * robinsón (por alusión a… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Henry — ► sustantivo masculino ELECTRICIDAD Denominación del henrio en la nomenclatura internacional. IRREG. plural henrys * * * henrio o henry (de J. Henry, físico inglés) m. Fís. Unidad de inductancia eléctrica en el Sistema Internacional. * * * …   Enciclopedia Universal

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.