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John Dillwyn Llewelyn

(1810—1882) photographer


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(1810–82), Welsh photographer. He married a favourite cousin of Henry Talbot, Emma Thomasina, née Talbot, in 1833, becoming one of the ‘Welsh cousins’ of the Talbot family just prior to Talbot's first photographic experiments. As a member of the Royal Society and Linnean Society, he experimented enthusiastically with the new art of photography at his country home in Penllergare, Glamorgan, South Wales, with his wife and later their daughter Thereza Mary. By 5 March 1839 he had already succeeded in making ‘some faint drawings’, as Mary Lucy Cole, his mother-in-law and Talbot's aunt, wrote to Talbot that day. Although he used photogenic drawing and daguerreotype processes, after 1840 he turned primarily to the calotype, and later to collodion. His invention of the Oxymel process produced perhaps the most successful ‘moist collodion’ process, by bathing the collodion plates in a commercial mixture (Oxymel) consisting of honey and vinegar, allowing it to remain moist for the day. Llewelyn is best known for his artistic landscapes of the British countryside, and for his involvement with the early circle of British photographers, among them his lifelong friend Philip Henry Delamotte (1820–89), and his son-in-law Nevil Story-Maskelyne (1823–1911). He was also on the original council of the Photographic Society of London (later the Royal Photographic Society).

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.


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