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Francis Bedford

(1816—1894) lithographer and photographer


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(1816–94), British landscape photographer. Trained as a lithographer, Bedford became involved with photography at his father's architectural practice in the early 1850s. Probably as a result of seeing some of his architectural illustrations, Queen Victoria commissioned him in 1854 to photograph objects in the royal collection at Marlborough House and, three years later, views of Prince Albert's native town of Coburg, as a gift for him. In the following year, Bedford took similar views in Gotha. In 1862, he travelled with the prince of Wales on a tour of the Holy Land, photographing many previously unrecorded historical sites. On Bedford's return to London, 172 of the pictures he took in the Middle East were published in 21 parts. During the 1860s and 1870s, Bedford travelled all over Britain, with large-format cameras and portable wet-plate equipment. He published hundreds of prints of his carefully composed and technically unrivalled views, as cartes de visite, single prints, stereoscopic pairs, and book illustrations. Throughout much of this period, Bedford was active in the London (later Royal) Photographic Society, and was twice its vice-president.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.


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