He Never Told His Love   (variant)

He Never Told His Love (variant)

This well-known photograph by English photographer Henry Peach Robinson is a cropped version of a photograph he titled He Never Told His Love. The original version includes two additional models on the right hand side of the photograph-one sitting and the other holding a basket looking towards the interaction of the older gentleman and model on far left.  The original was taken by Robinson on a 1884 photographic trip to Gelligynan in North Wales and described by him in London’s Photographic News in July of that year:

“With all these adjuncts to picture making, to which may be added a picturesque game-keeper who carried my camera, and three or four “models” dressed in the clothes of the country, the making of pictures was an easy matter.”
…”It often happened that a subject occurred and was secured in a few minutes, with very little demand on the skill of the photographer. As an example, I will mention one subject, for which I can only take the credit of seeing it when it happened. One day I could not have the keeper who usually attended me, and I had to take an undergardener. This man was a pictorial treasure. He was old, and had scarcely been further from the estate than Mold in his life. He was essentially a happy-looking old man, and full of native wit. I had been looking for a view some way off, and returning, saw my old man sitting on a rail in the hedge, surrounded by the models, who were chaffing him in Welsh and English. They made a picturesque group, and I heard one of them say, “He never told his love.” Here was subject and title together, and was at once secured.”  (1.)

This albumen photograph is mounted behind glass and glued into the recto of a floral-composition frame. The frame verso includes a simple bow-tie wire bracket used to steady the frame when displayed on a level surface.

1. Brush and Camera in Wales: H.P. Robinson: in: The Photographic News-A Weekly Record of the Progress of Photography: Printed and Published by Piper and Carter: London: July 25, 1884: p. 468

Original copy for this entry posted to Facebook on September  18, 2011:


I realize the title of this photograph sounds like the flip side of an old 45 rpm record, but the gossipy truth is that human nature was the same back in 1884 as it is today when this was taken by English photographer Henry Peach Robinson. Texting might be the reality and substitute for a scene like this now, at least by the younger generation, but like the old 45, isn’t it nice to have this different kind of record of generational differences by camera before it disappears completely?

He Never Told His Love (variant)

Image Dimensions13.8 x 9.3 cm

Support Dimensions17.7 x 13.3 cm