- Mary Christian
(b Ludlow, Salop, July 9, 1830; d Tunbridge Wells, Feb 21, 1901).
English photographer. As a young man he worked in a bookshop while studying art. He became interested in photography at the Great Exhibition, London (1851), and photographed landscapes and architecture in Shropshire and Warwickshire. In 1857 he opened a portrait studio in Leamington Spa and became interested in the composite photographs of O. G. Rejlander. Robinson, too, began to compose his photographs from a number of separate negatives in an attempt to elevate photography to the status of painting in the academies. The process was known as combination printing (see Photography, §I). In 1858, under Rejlander’s tutelage, Robinson produced Fading Away (composite albumen print; Bath, Royal Phot. Soc.), a combination print from five separate negatives representing a young girl on her deathbed accompanied by her family.
Robinson’s narrative photographs of allegorical or sentimental genre themes were often combination prints assembled from many negatives. He created tableaux with actors and props, sometimes incorporating a verse caption to help establish the narrative purpose of the composition, for example ...