Search the Collections

Roger Fenton
Birth Date: 
Birth Place: 
Crimble Hall, Lancashire
Death Date: 
Death Place: 
Photographer and painter. Best known for his pictures of the Crimean War, representing the first extensive photographic documents of a war. Studied painting with Paul Delaroche in Paris 1841. Learned photography there. Reputation as a photographer first made through high-quality still-lifes and landscapes, in high demand by Victorian "arm-chair travellers." In 1855 went to the Crimea as the British government's official photographer. His governmental connections as the founder (1853) and first honorary secretary of the (Royal) Photographic Society of London earned this appointment. Using the wet-collodion process, they took approximately 360 photographs of the war. However, Fenton was an agent of the government, and thus tended to glorify the war. Upon his return to England, Fenton's work was successfully exhibited in London and Paris, and wood engravings of the particularly notable photographs were printed in the Illustrated London News. Quit photography in 1862, sold all his cameras, negatives and photographs, and practiced law until retiremen. Some negatives were subsequently acquired by Francis Frith and republished by later in portfolios and as single prints.