Doge's Palace, Venice, Italy, c 1841.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Daguerreotype by Alexander John Ellis (1814-1890). One of a series of topographical and architectural views that are among the earliest known photographs of Italy. Ellis wanted to use them as the basis of a series of engravings in a proposed publication called 'Italy Daguerreotyped'. The daguerreotype process was one of two pioneering photographic processes announced in 1839, along with the calotype. Each image is a direct positive produced on sensitised metal plates in a long and complex procedure.