'Pompeii, The East side of the Street of Tombs...', 1841.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
'Pompeii, The East side of the Street of Tombs from one of the upper rooms in the Ancient Inn', 21 April 1841. Daguerreotype by Alexander John Ellis (1814-1890). One of a series of topographical and architectural views which 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 proces was one of two pioneering photographic proceses announced in 1839. Each image is a direct positive produced on sensitised metal plates in a long and complex procedure.