Henry Peach Robinson

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Henry Peach Robinson (1830 - 1901) was an English painter - photorgapher and is most famous for Combination printing. He was taught combination printing by another famous painter - photographer of the 19th century Oscar Reijlander (Mary Warner Marien, Photography: A cultural history 2nd ed. page 91).

Robinson was a pictorialist photographer, firmly of the belied that photograhpy as a medium should be considered High Art and that it should match the status of painting. In order to produce images that echoed pre-raphelite painting Robinson used both Combination printing and painted backdrops / costumed models. (Taken from [1]).

Further to this Robinson published Pictorial Effect in Photography in 1869 which "which recommended adherence to the systemized aesthetic of the contemporary painting Salon" (Hope Kingsley, 2009. Grove Art Online[2])

Click here for a link to a biography from the Amica library (Original source is the Cleveland Museum of Art).

Click here for a biography from the J. Paul Getty museum.


Fading away Image taken from the national media museum website.

Fading Away was Robinson's most famous combination print, it is particularly noteable for the public outcry that accompanied the image intially, it was considered grotesque and indecent to photograph a young girl on her death bed - however once it was revealed that the image was constructed and the scene never actually existed the image became much more acceptable.

The Lady of Shallot Image taken from: www.museumsyndicate.com

The Lady of Shallot is another combination print also picturing a dying heroine, however this time it is an illustration of a famous scene by the poet Tennyson. (Mary Warner Marien, Photography: A cultural history 2nd ed. page 93)

Further Reading

Bio from Worldwide art resources
Bio from libfl.ru
Pictorial photography

Week 1. History of Photography