Photograph of Richard Ansdell, by William Henry Lake Price

Photograph of Richard Ansdell, by William Henry Lake Price

Portrait of Richard Ansdell, painter
William Henry Lake Price
1857
London
Albumen-silver print on card
Museum no. E.1383-2000
Transferred from the British Museum

William Henry Lake Price, himself a painter and printmaker as well as a photographer, has portrayed his fellow artist Richard Ansdell (1815-85) with the traditional tools of his profession and a still life composed of characteristic materials of the genre in Victorian times. 

His clothing is typical of 'Artistic' dress, fashionable with artists and intellectuals of the time. Artistic dress is characterised by loosely fitting clothes, made of plain, muted fabrics coloured with natural dyes, which they wore in deliberate contrast to the tight and starched rigidity of Victorian formal dress. 

This portrait was first seen at the Photographic Society of London exhibition held at the South Kensington Museum (now the V&A) in February and March 1858. This was the first photographic exhibition held in any museum in the world.