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Hollyer, Frederick, 1837–1933

The story of Psyche.

Great Britain, ca. 1900.
Physical Description:
3 photographs : platinum prints ; in frame 49.5 x 164 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
In Process
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
In the late 19th century, Frederick Hollyer established himself as a specialist in the photographic reproduction of contemporary art. Catalogs of his "platinotype reproductions" were issued regularly from 1893 to 1911 (see ODNB). Holyer's reproduction of Harry Bates's The story of Psyche was exhibited in the 39th annual exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society, where it could be purchased for £6.6s. In his review of the exhibition, Alfred Horsley Hinton noted, "A finer or more complete idea of relief has probably never been produced than the reproduction of Harry Bates' 'Story of Psyche,' which is shown by F. Hollyer. The relief of the original clay modelling is so perfectly given that it seems difficult to see why, from an aesthetic point of view, such productions should not be largely used for high-class decoration ..." (The Photograph, November 1894, p. 270).
The individual photographs measure 42 x 29.2, 42 x 90.2, and 42 x 29.2 cm. In a contemporary Arts and Crafts frame, wood with metallic paint.
Spielmann, M.H. British sculpture and sculptors of today, advertisements, page I
Photographic journal, 1894 September 22, page 5, item 146
Hollyer, F. Catalogue of platinotype reproductions (1902), pages 29-30
Photogram, vol. 1, no. 2 (November 1894), page 270
Three platinum prints, by Frederick Hollyer, mounted together as a triptych, reproducing The story of Psyche, by Harry Bates. The relief sculpture by Bates exists as a silvered bronze triptych, now in the collections of the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. Bates's panels also exist in plaster, the form depicted in the present photographs. Copies of this work were exhibited as early as 1894 and appeared in Hollyer's catalogs in the early 1900s.
M.H. Spielmann's British sculpture and sculptors of today (1901), includes a full-page advertisement for "Permanent photographs of the works of Harry Bates, A.R.A. ... by Fredk. Hollyer," including illustrations of the three panels in The story of Psyche (see page I, at end). The illustrations are captioned: "[Left panel] Whilst Psyche wept upon the rock -- [center] Forsaken, alone, despairing, dreading, gradually by Zephyrus she was enwrapt and taken, still trembling like the lilies planted high, through all her fair white limbs -- [right] Yet love was not far off."
Subject Terms:
Art -- Reproduction.
Cupid (Roman deity)
Cupid and Psyche (Tale)
Photography of art.
Photography of sculpture.
Psyche (Greek deity)
Sculpture, British.
Zephyrus (Greek deity)
Platinum prints.
Bates, Harry, 1850-1899. Story of Psyche.

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