Campo San Margherita

Campo San Margherita

An extensive overview of the photographic career of Scotsman James Craig Annan appeared in the June, 1897 issue of the Bulletin de l’Association Belge de Photographie, including this plate taken in Venice in 1894 and numerous halftones of his work. Running a full 16 pages, (pp. 401-417) the article also discussed a touring exhibition of his work in Belgium, including several installation photos and a review.

Annan personally  etched and printed this plate Campo San Margherita for the Belgian Society of Photography Bulletin. The following editorial comment appeared in the issue concerning the plate and the other illustrations:


Nous avons consacré ce numéro à la reproduction de quelques œuvre de Craig-Annan.
L’épreuve hors texte « Campo San Margherita » est une photogravure exécutée par Craig-Annan lui-même, d’après un de ses meilleurs phototypes pris en Italie. Nos lecteurs constateront que l’auteur est non seulement un photographe hors ligne, mais qu’il est encore un habile photograveur.  (1.)

Original copy for this entry posted to Facebook on March 31, 2014:

Deconstructing early photographs with the intent of placing them in a particular “school” can be a challenge for those images not readily fitting into accepted categories such as portraits, topographical  records of landscapes and architectural studies, to name a few.  But secession-minded folks like Scotsman James Craig Annan certainly shook things up when he began taking photographs in the early 1890’s. An early effort: a Dutch landscape study titled “The Beach at Zandvoort” taken in 1892, was an extremely cropped horizontal image showing a group of people waiting on the seashore for the fisherman’s catch to be brought in-just a small sliver of the horizon line being shown and a bit more of the sandy beach in the foreground. Carrying radical cropping even further, his “Campo San Margherita”, an Italian study taken in 1894 is the subject of a new blog post exploring the possibilities he achieved with a vertically-cropped image.

1. excerpt: Bulletin de l’Association Belge de Photographie: Bruxelles: No. 6 (June) 1897: p. 444

Campo San Margherita

Image Dimensions15.0 x 5.1 cm June

Support Dimensionsdetail: 22.6 x 15.0 cm laid paper