Buckingham Palace

A new exhibition of pictures by the man dubbed the ‘father or war photography’ will go on display at Buckingham Palace in November.

The haunting images taken by Roger Fenton in the Crimea in 1855 gave birth to a new genre of artistry.

Already a respected photographer, Fenton arrived in the region following the suicidal Charge of the Light Brigade after being commissioned by the publishers Thomas Agnew & Sons.

He spent three months producing approximately 360 photographs, travelling and working in a mobile darkroom he had converted from a wine merchant’s van.

About the exhibition

Sixty of the most poignant images that now form part of the Royal Collection will go on display at the Queen’s Gallery from 9th November, 2018 until April next year.

The exhibition is titled Shadows of War: Roger Fenton's Photographs of the Crimea, 1855. It is the first time the pictures will have been seen in public in London since 1856.

Limited by 19th-century photographic techniques and constrained by Victorian sensibilities, Fenton was unable to produce scenes of battle and death. Instead, he evoked the destruction of war through portrayals of haunted troops and desolate terrains.  

His images would become some of the most significant visual accounts of conflict ever produced.

Shadows of War

Pictured: A photograph from Shadows of War (photo credit: Royal Collection Trust / (c) Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2018)

The Crimean War

The Crimean War broke out after Britain, France, Sardinia and the Ottoman Empire allied against Russia’s attempt to expand its influence into Ottoman territory.  

One of Fenton’s more disturbing images is Lord Balgonie (1855), which is the first visual record of someone suffering from ‘shell shock’.  

On the exhibition’s multimedia guide, recorded when the exhibition was first shown in Edinburgh in 2017, the Duke of Sussex speaks about how photographs taken by Fenton and his contemporaries helped change attitudes towards those affected by their experiences on the battlefield. 

Group trips to The Queen’s Gallery

Visit The Queen's Gallery to see changing exhibitions from Royal Collections, including rare furniture and decorative arts.

For groups, you can arrange a private visit and tour. Group bookings are available with discounts for those with 15 or more members.