William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877)
Loch Katrine, 1844
Salt print from a calotype negative
17.0 x 20.9 cm on 18.6 x 22.9 cm paper
"LA36" in black ink on verso
The setting for Scott’s The Lady of the Lake, Loch Katrine must have seemed magical when Talbot and Henneman approached it. They had just left Duone Castle, taking advantage of a recently constructed road to penetrate an area formerly accessible only to the clans and to the occasional intrepid traveler. The high vantage point shown here, looking down from the hills, displays a picturesque area of unspoiled beauty. Talbot was to select it as plate twelve for his Sun Pictures in Scotland. In contrast to the rainy days Talbot had endured since arriving in Scotland, the sun turned out in its full glory, and his wife, Constance, wrote back that she was “charmed to hear that you had such fine weather for Loch Katrine – &c – and I am very glad that you did not turn back at Edinburgh as I fancied you would.” (Letter, 25 October 1844, LA 44-78, Talbot Collection, the British Library, London; Talbot Correspondence Project Document no. 05109).
This image is Plate 12 in Sun Pictures in Scotland, 1845
This negative (1937-1339), and indeed most of those that Talbot made on this Scottish trip, survives in good condition in the Talbot Collection, National Media Museum, Bradford.