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Title

A sea of steps

1903


Artist

Frederick H Evans

England

1853 - 1945


About

Frederick Evans dedicated much of his time as a professional photographer to the documentation of architecture. In this pursuit he advanced the idea of a 'pure' (i.e. not retouched) photography. Adamant that great buildings, in particular cathedrals, could be photographed with a sense of transcendence, Evans spent days noting changes in light and atmosphere. 'A sea of steps' encapsulates many of his aesthetic concerns. The steps softly lit yet clearly articulated, cascade down and across the picture in a visual tension that ultimately leads the eye to the illuminated archway.

In writing about 'A sea of steps' in 1903 Evans noted:

The beautiful curve of the steps on the right is for all the world like the surge of a great wave that will presently break and subside into smaller ones like those at the top of the picture. It is one of the most imaginative lines it has been my good fortune to try and depict; this superb mounting of the steps…


Details


Other Title

The Sea of Steps, Wells Cathedral England


Date

1903


Media category

Photograph


Materials used

platinotype photograph


Dimensions

23.6 x 19.2 cm image/sheet; 44.5 x 34.3 cm board


Signature & date

Not signed. Not dated.


Credit

Gift of the Sydney Camera Circle 1977


Location

Not on display


Accession number

53.1977


Artist information

Frederick H Evans

Works in the collection

23


Shown in 5 exhibitions

Exhibition history


Referenced in 4 publications

Bibliography


Judy Annear, Look, 'The Enigmatic Object - photography and the uncanny', pg.22-23, Heidelberg, Apr 1997, 23 (illus.).

Judy Annear, The Enigmatic Object, Sydney, 1997.

Jonathan Cooper, Onsight - The Expressive Image, Sydney, 1987, (illus.). cat.no. 8

Vigen Galstyan, Look, 'Infinite flatness: exploring the intangible', pg. 28-29, Sydney, Oct 2012, 29 (illus.).