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Roger Fenton (1819-69)

Self portrait of Roger Fenton dressed as a zouave ©
Fenton, born in Lancashire, trained initially as a lawyer then as an artist before taking up photography in 1852. Over the next ten years, he undertook several extensive journeys with his camera as well as being instrumental in founding the Photographic Society of London in 1853. Fenton worked in a variety of genres, producing portraits, still life, architecture, landscape and documentary photographs.

Fenton first met Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in January 1854 at an exhibition of the Photographic Society. Shortly afterwards he was asked to go to Buckingham Palace to photograph the royal family. Several commissions followed in 1854 and 1856, including a journey to Balmoral to photograph the royal children and the newly rebuilt castle.

Fenton had a highly successful career as a photographer, which included photographing the Crimean War in 1855. In 1862, however, he retired from photography completely and returned to his first profession in the law.

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