Oct 25, 2007

Scotch Firs, Hawkhurst

Scotch Firs, Hawkhurst


Benjamin Brecknell Turner

(British, 1815–1894)

Albumen print from calotype

Image: 28.6 x 39.1 cm (11 1/4 x 15 3/8 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1988.239



Despite the Industrial Revolution, Benjamin Brecknell Turner portrayed the English countryside as stable, harmonious, and unchanging—a place where nature and humanity coexist in complete harmony. Here the artist captured a pastoral scene in Surrey, combining towering trees, houses, and farm buildings to create a skillful blend of rustic domesticity and charming landscape. Preferring to photograph at an angle, Turner's composition is enlivened by the strong diagonals found in the receding lines of trees, fence, and pathway, which lead the viewer in an orderly progression from foreground to background. According to family tradition, Scotch Firs, Hawkhurst was so admired by Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert that Turner presented him with a print of the photograph in 1853.

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