'Earl of Lovelace', c 1890.
© NMeM / Royal Photographic Society / Science & Society Picture Library
Platinum print photograph by Frederick Hollyer (1837-1933). The platinotype or platinum process was invented by William Willis (1841-1923) in 1873. Paper was coated with platinum and iron salts, contact printed with a negative and then developed using a solution which dissolved the iron, leaving an image in pure platinum. These prints were admired for their tonal range and permanence. Frederick Hollyer ran a successful business photographing historical and contemporary works of art. He set aside one a day a week for portraiture at his studio in Kensington, London. He photographed friends and acquaintances from artistic and literary circles. Collectively, his work forms an astonishing profile of late-nineteenth century British cultural life.