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Lock & Whitfield
Review of "Men of Mark" by George C. Whitfield [First series]
1876, 1 December
The British Journal of Photography, Vol.XXIII, No.865, December 1, 1876, p.571-572.
Men Of Mark. By George C. Whitfield.
London: Samson Low And Co.
We now redeem the promise made in the course of our notices of the pictures at the recent Exhibition, and devote a short space to giving a more detailed account of Men of Mark than was possible at that time. Those who desire to see what the Woodbury process is capable of producing when worked at its best can certainly have their wish gratified by a perusal of this work. It will be remembered that the Woodbury Company exhibited a series of portraits of men who had achieved eminence in various walks of life in politics, theology, and soforth; and it will also be remembered by those who saw these portraits that the brilliancy, depth, purity, and perfection of half-tone were such as to have induced several spectators to observe that it was impossible that works so charming could have been produced by a mechanical printing process; yet such is the case.
Men of Mark form a gallery of contemporary portraits of men "distinguished in the senate, the church, in science, literature and art, the army, navy, law, medicine, &c." In the present work the first of a consecutive series of volumes there are thirty-six portraits of men coming under the above voluminous category, each portrait accompanied by a page of descriptive text, by Thompson Cooper, F.S.A. It is, however, in the photographs we are more particularly interested. They have all been photographed from life by Messrs. Lock and Mr. G. C. Whitfield, under whose superintendence this volume has been produced, deserves great credit for the felicitous manner in which he has managed to associate in one "happy family" the distinctive characters of which it is composed; for, as no special attempt at classification seems to have been intended, so there are no invidious distinctions observable in regard to priority of place. Churchmen and catholics, liberals and conservatives, and people holding the most diverse phases of opinion all are mixed together very harmoniously.
This volume, so replete with gems of portraiture, should find a place on the reception-room table of every photographer, as well as take a distinguished position among the pictorial treasures usually found on the table of the private drawing-room.