In the beginning...

Henry Peach Robinson

Henry Peach Robinson was an english pictorialist photographer. Whilst he was studying art, his initial career was bookselling. In 1852 he exhibited an oil painting at the royal academy. That same year he began taking photographs. 5 years later he decided to devote himself to the medium, in 1855 opening a studio in leamington spa, selling portraits. in 1864 at the age of thirty four, Robinson was forced to give up his studio due to illness from exposure and toxic photographic chemicals. Relocating to London, Robinson kept up his with involvement with the theatrical side of photography, writing the influential essay pictorial effect in photography, being hints on composition and chiaroscuro for photographers, published in 1868. Around this time his health had improved sufficiently to open a new studio.

Henry Peach Robinson was an english photographer whose pictorialist photographs and writing made him one of the most influential photographers of the second half of the 19th century. He created photographs such as Juliet with the poison bottle in his earliest known work and fading away.

Henry Peach Robinsons process is combination printing, a photographic technique which he learned from his friend and contemporary Oscar Rejalander. An early form of photomontage, the technique involved very intricate process whereby several negatives were exposed onto the same paper, this process took up to 6 weeks to finish. Although Rejlander pioneered the method, Robinson brought new levels of refinement to it, eventually producing prints composed of up to eight negatives. His work often imitates genre paintings that were popular in England at the time, and the 1877 piece, when the day's work is done, is an excellent example of both his vision and technique. Even though Robinson is particularly known for his combination printing, he also produced a number of pictorial photographs of woodland and other scenes.

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