TABLE OF CONTENTS

Collection Summary
 

Biographical Sketch
 

Scope and Contents of the Collection
 

Index Terms
 

Administrative Information 
 

Contact Information
 

Detailed Description of the Collection

National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives

F. Maxwell Lyte fonds:

Finding Aid



Collection Summary

Title: F. Maxwell Lyte fonds. 
Dates: – ca.1857-after 1904. 
Quantity:  – 10 photographs.

Biographical Sketch

Farnham Maxwell Lyte (1828-1906) was a British 19th century photographer and inventor, who studied chemical engineering at Cambridge University and later became an Associate of the Society of Civil Engineers. He first encountered photography in 1844 at the age of sixteen when he heard about William Henry Fox Talbot's invention of the "calotype". With his background in chemistry, Lyte quickly grasped new photographic techniques. He became one of the many photographers who began to examine ways of improving the wet-collodian process by extending the longevity of the sensitized plate, publishing the results of his investigations into what became known as the "honey process" in the June 17, 1854 issue of the British journal Notes and Queries.

In 1856 Lyte and his family moved to the town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre, where he continued his investigations into the improvement of photographic processes. He published his findings on the presence of "anti-chlors" in paper (an agent used in paper manufacturing that posed a danger to the chemical stability of silver prints) in The British Journal of Photography in April 1862. Lyte also published his findings on several other discoveries and inventions related to wet-collodion photography. Lyte had an interest in the natural history of the Pyrenean region. He was one of the first members of the Société Ramond, a group of amateur scientists who investigated the natural history of the area. In addition to his photographic investigations, Lyte was a photographer himself, often photographing the landscape and architecture of his new home and the engineering projects that were taking place in the Pyrenean. In 1858 a number of Lyte's photographs were included in a catalogue of 108 photographs of the Pyrenean entitled, Vues, costumes et monuments des Pyrénées, copies de grands maîtres. Lyte was one of the first photographers to use the technique of superimposing the image of the sky from one negative onto the scene from another negative. Several of Lyte's photographs were shown in exhibitions sponsored by the Société Française de Photographie from approximately 1857 to 1863, an organization Lyte helped found. He also exhibited his photographs as early as 1855 in Paris, London, and Glasgow and showed his work almost every year until 1865. Lyte gave up photography not long after moving his family to Dax, a town northwest of Bagnères, around 1867. Lyte returned to England towards the end of his life and died in London in March 1906.

Return to the Table of Contents


Scope and Contents of the Collection

The fonds consists of 2 photographic portraits of F. Maxwell Lyte and 8 landscape photographs of the Pyrenees by Lyte.

Source of supplied title proper: Title based on contents of collection. 
Immediate source of acquisition: Donated to the National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives by M.C. John Lewall, David B. Lewall, and Edward F. Lewall in July 2002.
Finding aids: Item level description available.
The collection of the National Gallery includes photographs by F. Maxwell Lyte as well as portrait photographs of him.

Return to the Table of Contents


Index Terms

Names:
Lyte, F. Maxwell, 1828-1906
Document Types:
Photographs.

Return to the Table of Contents


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Title of item], F. Maxwell Lyte fonds, National Gallery of Canada Library and Archives.

Return to the Table of Contents


Contact Information

Cyndie Campbell
Head, Archives, Documentation and Visual Resources
Library and Archives
National Gallery of Canada
380 Sussex Drive
P.O. Box 427, Station A
Ottawa, Ontario
K1N 9N4
T 613-990-0597
F 613-990-9818
 
ccampbel@gallery.ca 

Return to the Table of Contents


Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Item Level Description 

Box
Box 1 F. Maxwell Lyte as a Young Man
Photographer: Reginald Haines
Date: after 1904
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: 8 x 6 cm
F. Maxwell Lyte
Photographer: Unknown
Date: ca. 1900
Medium: Gelatin silver print
Dimensions: 12.4 x 8.8 cm
Vallée de Gris
Photographer: F. Maxwell Lyte
Date: ca. 1857
Medium: Albumen silver print
Dimensions: 21 x 27.1 cm
Inscription on the verso: "The man with the / white trousers is Alexis"
Description: Rocky mountain stream with two men standing on escarpment in middle ground.
Lac d' Oô in Bagnères de Luchon
Photographer: F. Maxwell Lyte
Date: ca. 1857
Medium: Albumen silver print
Dimensions: 20.9 x 26.8 cm
Description: View across lake to cascade amid high cliffs topped by small trees.
Biarritz
Photographer: F. Maxwell Lyte
Date: ca. 1857
Medium: Albumen silver print
Dimensions: 23.9 x 30.1 cm
Description: Coastline with houses, church under construction or repair, boats in rocky cove in foreground.
The Orthez Bridge Between Bayonne and Pau
Photographer: F. Maxwell Lyte
Date: ca. 1857
Medium: Albumen silver print
Dimensions: 20.3 x 26.8 cm
Description: View of backs of riverside houses beside arched bridge with central gate tower.
San Sebastian
Photographer: F. Maxwell Lyte
Date: ca. 1857
Medium: Albumen silver print
Dimensions: 18.9 x 26.3 cm
Description: Town in far distance with mountains beyond, foreground farm land with bridge and buildings surrounded by water in middle ground.
Cauterets
Photographer: F. Maxwell Lyte
Date: ca. 1857
Medium: Albumen silver print
Dimensions: 20.6 x 26 cm
Description: Man seated on foreground rock wall gazing at town in mountain valley.
Bagnères-de-Bigorre
Photographer: F. Maxwell Lyte
Date: ca. 1857
Medium: Albumen silver print
Dimensions: 24.7 x 31.1 cm
Description: Long-range view of treed plain with town in distance.
Town in Mountain Valley, Pyrénées
Photographer: F. Maxwell Lyte
Date: ca. 1865
Medium: Albumen silver print
Dimensions: 27 x 33 cm (approx.)
Description: Town seen from above with high mountain peaks beyond.

Return to the Table of Contents