Ferns. Fac-Simile of a Photogenic Drawing (Page from The Mirror, vol. 33, no. 945 (20 April,1839)).
Image: 15.1 x 11.2 cm (5 15/16 x 4 7/16 in.) Sheet: 22.3 x 14.2 cm (8 3/4 x 5 9/16 in.)
Medium or Technique
Not On View
Page from The Mirror, vol. 33, no. 945 (20 April,1839).
This is considered the first photographic image published. A boxwood block was chemically prepared in the manner of Talbot’s preparation of paper. Bird’s photogenic drawing of ferns was laid on the block, and exposed to light, leaving its image on the surface. A wood engraver then cut the “photogenic drawing”, which was then printed directly from the block in the usual manner in a rich reddish brown color that matched the color of Talbot’s first salt print photograms. The facsimile was accompanied by a multi-part article, “A Treatise on Photogenic Drawing”, reprinted from the Magazine of Natural History.