PhotographerFrederick Evans




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Allegorical, Costume Study, Fancy Portrait, Fashion, Interiors, Supports, Women of Mark


Image Dimensions: 19.4 x 14.5 cm tipped to ruled mount
Support Dimensions: 41.0 x 27.0 cm shown cropped to ruled margins

This fancy dress portrait of the English poet, author and journalist Ethel Rolt Wheeler (pen name: Rolt Wheeler) 1869-1958, shows her portraying the allegorical figure of Salammbô, from the novel of the same name published in 1862 by the French writer Gustave Flaubert. From Wikipedia: “Salammbô (1862) is a historical novel by Gustave Flaubert. It is set in Carthage immediately before and during the Mercenary Revolt (241–237 BCE). Flaubert’s principal source was Book I of the Histories, written by the Greek historian Polybius. The novel was enormously popular when first published and jumpstarted a renewed interest in the history of the Roman Republic’s conflict with the North African Phoenician outpost of Carthage.”


Exhibited: #163.  An Exercise in Line (Character Study at Home)  Entered in the Fifth Exhibition of the Photographic Salon (1897) at the Dudley Gallery in Piccadilly, (London): October 4th-November 6th, 1897.


#71   Salammbô - Character Study at Home.  (Platinum.)  Forty-second Annual Exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society : London, Sept. 27-Nov. 13, 1897

Commentary: Frederick H. Evans has broken new ground, and in Salammbô, a character study at home (71, R.P.S.), has produced a very pleasant record of a picturesque sitter in fancy dress.  But, remembering Mr. Evans’ notable work in architectural subjects and landscapes, we can but hope this is merely a “sport,” and not the symptom of a coming change of theme. His Bow Fell from Esk Hause is well up to the high standard he set long ago.  (p. 70: from: Photograms of 97’)


Published: full page halftone: “An Exercise in Line” : Photograms of ’97. p. 103:  London: Published for the Photogram, LTD. “An Exercise in Line (character study at home) and A Human Document (a portrait study in ordinary room) are the ingenious (perhaps a shade too ingenious) titles of his remaining exhibits to this year’s Salon.” (commentary: p. 102) ; Plate #8, titled “Portrait Study at Home” published by Walter Colls as Pictorial Photographs. A Record of the Photographic Salon of 1897. In Seventeen Plates Reproduced in Photogravure. 


Print Notes: Titled in graphite and centered below lower margin of ruled mount: “Salammbo”; signed in graphite below image in lower right corner by the artist: Frederick H. Evans; and: Mrs. Ethel Wheeler at lower left corner below image.


Provenance:  purchased May, 2022 from New Mexico estate of Dr. Gary Mahan.