Sketch by Fox Talbot, English, early 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
This pencil drawing is from a sketchbook by Fox Talbot. It depicts an Italian view with Monte Cressone in the distance and the balustrade of Villa Melzi in the foreground. William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) was an English physicist and pioneer of photography. In 1839 he announced his invention of 'photogenic drawing' in the same year as the invention of the daguerrotype by Louis Daguerre (1789-1851). The sketch was drawn, using a camera lucida, during his honeymoon in Italy. His dissatisfaction with images such as this urged him to pursue his photographic experiments.