Looking across the Seine at Rouen

A paper calotype negative. A view from a quay at Rouen looking across the River Seine. In the foreground are stacks of barrels, bales and boxes. A number of brigs, with their lower yards scandalized (set at an acute angle to the deck) are alongside the quay. A tree in leaf can be seen on the extreme left of the image, obscuring one of the ships. The photograph may have been taken from Talbot's hotel window as it is an elevated view across the quay.

A similar view to P31CAL, but the camera has been moved to the left slightly to include part of the tree in the composition.

In a letter to his mother dated 15 May he wrote: 'Great bustle and commercial activity manifest everywhere. From early dawn to dewy eve incessant rumbling of carts & wagons- Ships constantly loading, unloading, and moving away - at one moment the quai strewed with large barrels – an hour afterwards not one of them left.'

The reverse has '110' in ink at the bottom left corner. In a letter dated 15 May 1843 from WHF Talbot to his mother, he was in Rouen on 15 May 1843 and planned to stay 2-3 days. [BL, LA43-57]. In fact, in another letter to his mother, dated 22 May, he mentioned that he had left on 18 May for Paris. [BL, LA43-58].

Object Details

Type: Calotype negative
Display location: Not on display
Creator: Talbot, William Henry Fox
Date made: 1843; 15-18 May 1843
Credit: National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Fox Talbot Collection
Measurements: Overall: 164 mm x 179 mm

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