Scolopendrium Vulgare

Scolopendrium Vulgare


Anna Atkins

(British, 1799-1871)


Image: 33.3 x 22.9 cm (13 1/8 x 9 in.); Paper: 48.3 x 37.5 cm (19 x 14 3/4 in.); Matted: 61 x 50.8 cm (24 x 20 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 1995.26



In 1843, Anna Atkins produced the first book illustrated with photographs. The book was the earliest use of photography in a scientific publication. An amateur botanist, Atkins overcame the difficulties of making accurate drawings by placing plants directly on light-sensitive paper and exposing them to light. With these cameraless photographs, later called photograms, she was able to carefully record the basic elements of a plant's line, shape, and texture. This example illustrates a specimen of Scolopendrium Vulgare, also known as Hart's-Tongue fern.

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