Christopher Rice Mansel TALBOT (Welsh, 1803-1890)
"Falls of Schaffhausen", 1846
Salt print from a calotype negative
15.9 x 20.9 cm on 18.4 x 22.3 cm paper
Titled in the margin of the negative by the photographer
Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot, known as Kit, and William Henry Fox Talbot, the inventor of photography, were cousins. The two shared scientific interests, including photography. It was through Kit that Talbot met Rev. Calvert R. Jones, the Welsh artist. On a journey together to Malta and Italy in 1845, Jones and Kit Talbot made photographs, hoping to answer Henry Talbot’s call for contributions to his new publication, The Pencil of Nature.
Located near Schaffhausen, Switzerland, the Rhine Falls, the most powerful waterfall in Europe, have been a recurring source of inspiration to Goethe and other visitors. In May 1846 Kit wrote his cousin from Naples that “my route homeward… will be by Milan, Zurich, Basle &c …I did a few Talbotypes for you.” Although very few photographs by Kit Talbot are known to survive, the reverse titling in the border of this negative is characteristic of his work. This painterly, vertiginous view shows the influence of Calvert Jones.