Roger Fenton was born on march 28th 1819 at Heywood, Lancashire County (England).
Roger Fenton is one of the most emblematic figures of the beginning of the photography : he is the most influential photograph of English photography’s « Golden Age » but also the first war photograph. He studied law and painting in England before joining Paul Delaroche’s studio in Paris, studio where he met Gustave Le Gray who participated to the development of his taste for the photographic medium. Once he came back in England, he then decided to focus himself on photography and travelled to Russia in 1852 where he took pictures of the construction of a bridge on the Dniepr, of the city of Kiev, of Moscow but also of Saint Petersburg. In 1853, he funded the Photographic Society (later rebranded as the Royal Photographic Society), and in 1854 he became the first official photograph of the British Museum, which led him to participate to the photographic mission of the Crimean War in 1855. Fenton is the first war photograph of the history of the medium, but he also produced prints of architecture, still lives, landscapes and portraits. The many points of views that he adopted bestows to his architectures a certain monumentality while the games of lights and shades give to his paintings a romantic atmosphere. When Fenton went to Balaklava, he had to stop by Constantinople, city that inspired him a series of Orientalist portraits that are maybe closer to an artistic series than to a documentary one, in the manner of Delacroix and Ingres. In 1862, after only eleven years of activity, the photograph decided to focus on being a lawyer.
Roger Fenton died on August 8th 1869 at Potters Bar, Middlesex (actual London County).