Thursday, August 9, 2012

Philip Henry Delamontte

Philip Henry Delamontte

"Colossal Vase from the Public Garden
at Berlin, by Professor Drake," 1855

"The Colossi of Aboo Sembel, Tropical
Transept, London Crystal Palace at Sydenham,"
ca. 1859

"Entrance to the Court of the Lions, in the
Alhambra," 1853

"Progress of the Crystal Palace at Sydenham," 1854

"Crystal Palace South Transept and South
from the Water Temple," 1854

"Models of Extinct Animals," 1855

"The Torso Famese and Other Sculpture
in the Greek Court," 1855

"Restoration of the Great Sphinx
from the Louve," 1855

"Breakfast Time at the Crystal Palace," 1855

"Innocence," 1855

"Evening," 1854

Biographical Notes from The Darkest Room:

Philip Henry Delamotte was a calotype photographer, and one of the first to use photography for documentary purposes.

In 1851 the Great Exhibition took place in Hyde Park, London. So successful was it that when it closed, some entrepreneurs bought a large site in Sydenham, near London, and arranged for the entire Crystal Palace, the main attraction, to be dismantled and re-erected at this new site.

They also decided to hire a photographer to document the event, and commissioned Delamotte, who produced a painstaking and meticulous record of this interesting building. The Crystal Palace was opened on 10 June 1854. The following year Delamotte published his two volume work entitled “Photographic Views of the Progress of the Crystal Palace, Sydenham”, containing 160 architectural photographs.

The publisher Delamotte used was Joseph Cundall, and it was at his house that one of the first commercial photographic exhibitions took place, with some 350 photographs available for sale.

Together with Roger Fenton he founded the Calotype Club in London. He taught drawing to members of the Royal Family, and later he was appointed Professor of Drawing at King’s College, London.
Delamotte also wrote a book entitled “The Practice of Photography: a Manual for Students” -- a work which went into its third edition.

Biography from Wikipedia:

Philip Henry Delamotte (April 21, 1821 - February 24, 1889) was a British photographer and illustrator.

Delamotte was born at Sandhurst Military Academy, the son of Mary and William Alfred Delamotte. Philip Delamotte became an artist and was famous for his photographic images of The Crystal Palace of 1851. He eventually became Professor of Drawing and Fine Art at King's College London. He died on 24 February 1889 at the home of his son-in-law Henry Charles Bond in Bromley.

He was commissioned to record the disassembly of the Crystal Palace in 1852, and its reconstruction and expansion at Sydenham, a project finished in 1854.  His photographic record of the events is one of the best archives of the way the building was constructed and he published the prints in several books. They were some of the first books in which photographic prints were published. He and Roger Fenton were among the first artists to use photography as a way of recording important structures and events following the invention of calotype photography.

They were both founding members of the Calotype Club. The National Monuments Record, the public archive of English Heritage holds a rare album of 47 photographs recording the building and exhibits in about 1859.

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