Bust of Patroclus, 1841.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Salt paper print from a calotype negative by William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877). Plate 17 from 'The Pencil of Nature', the first book with photographs. Casts were fashionable, denoting taste in the homes of the 19th century cultural elite. Talbot named the bust pictured Patroclus, a Greek hero. Between 1835-1839 Talbot invented the negative/positive process of producing photographs, patenting it as the calotype process in 1841. For the first time any number of prints could be taken of a single image from the negative.