William Lake Price, 'Don Quixote in his Study'

William Lake Price, 'Don Quixote in his Study'

William Lake Price (1810-96)
'Don Quixote in his Study'
1855
Albumen print
Museum no. 3-1976
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London

Approaching photography as high art, Lake Price used it not simply to record reality, but to depict imagined scenes. His most characteristic photographs are elaborately staged scenes from history or literature. For example, here Don Quixote is seen in his study, surrounded by heaps of antiquities.

In 1858 Lake Price published A Manual of Photographic Manipulation, Treating of the Practice of the Art, and its Various Applications to Nature, which was the first book to instruct its readers not only on the technical aspects of photography but also on such aesthetic questions as composition and lighting. He was an active contributor to publications on the medium of photography until the late 1880s.