MUDD, JAMES (1821-1906) Crimean view, Sebastopol, 1856?
Panorama of two large-plate salt prints, signed in the plate at lower right [J. Mudd/Manchester]. 11 1/4 x 26 1/4 inches (286 x 670 mm), on old (likely original) card mount. Wear, toning and chipping to periphery of mount, scattered foxing and soiling impacting image, which is still extremely striking.
James Mudd of Manchester is best known for his images of locomotives and for a pioneering photographic study of the effects of industrial pollution (done 1857). We have been unable to determine if he visited the Crimea, and if so, when (several photographers did, in addition to Fenton, including Beato and Robertson). If not a view of the Crimea, it is hard to imagine what this highly detailed and elaborate panorama of a wasteland of torn, rutted roads represents, if not the aftermath of conflict; it has been titled in pencil on the verso of the mound "Sebastopol/Crimean War/1856," but this ascription appears in a modern hand. It is certainly evocative of Fenton's famous The valley of the shadow of death, and it may be perhaps be no more than that, an evocation. It is a surprisingly stark and brutal landscape image, in most regards startlingly modern.
Additional Notes & Condition Report
No condition report? Click here to request one.