'Athens North East Arch of Parthenon', 1852.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A daguerreotype of the ruins of the Parthenon on the Acropolis, Athens. This daguerreotype, made in 1852, is a copy of a salt print made from a calotype negative taken by Reverend George Bridges in 1847. The Parthenon was Athen's great temple to the goddess Athena. Built on the Acropolis between 477 and 438 BC, it is a masterpiece of classical architecture. In 1687 the building was used as a powder magazine and was badly damaged in an explosion. In the first decade of the nineteenth century Lord Elgin removed a great deal of the sculpture from the ruin and shipped it to the British Museum. The Reverend George Bridges met photographic pioneer, William Henry Fox Talbot in 1846. The two men soon became good friends and Talbot arranged for Bridges to receive instruction in photography.