Robert Howlett (born 3 July 1831 in Theberton, Suffolk, and died at 10 Bedford Place, Campden Hill, Kensington, London on 2 December 1858), was a pioneering British photographer whose pictures are widely exhibited in major galleries. Howlett produced portraits of Crimean War heroes, genre scenes and landscapes. His photographs include the iconic picture of Isambard Kingdom Brunel which was part of a commission by the Illustrated Times ) to document the construction of the world's largest steamship, the SS Great Eastern.He exhibited at the London Photographic Society and published “On the Various Methods of Printing Photographic Pictures upon Paper, with Suggestions for Their Preservation.” He worked in partnership with Joseph Cundall at "The Photographic Institution" at New Bond Street, London.Howlett made photographic studies for the artist William Powell Frith's painting of Derby Day which was exhibited at the Royal Academy of Art.Howlett was commissioned by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to photograph the frescoes in the new drawing-room at Buckingham Palace, make copies of the paintings by Raphael and make a series of portraits called 'Crimean Heroes' which was exhibited in 1857 the Photographic Society of London's annual exhibition.Howlett died in 1858, aged 27. His death was apparently due to typhoid (rather than as a result of over-exposure to dangerous chemicals, as was suggested by some at the time, a myth that has continued to this day). The Illustrated Times praised him as "one of the most skillful photographers of the day".Prints from Howlett's photographs were published posthumously by his late partners Cundall & Downes under their own name, and by the London Stereoscopic and Photographic Company.
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Circa 1855, Howlett joined Joseph Cundall and Philip Henry Delamotte, a photographer, at the Photographic Institution, a photographic studio and gallery, in London. From 1855 to 1858, Howlett and Joseph Cundall operated two photographic businesses together, the first, Cundall, Howlett and Co. then became Cundall, Howlett and Downs. In 1858, Howlett produced a series of architectural views of Rouen, France.
British, English
Artist, Photographer
Robert Howlett
Information from Getty’s Union List of Artist Names ® (ULAN), made available under the ODC Attribution License