Under the Capstan

Under the Capstan

The following editorial comment for Under the Capstan appears in the May, 1890 issue:

Our Illustration.
IN presenting one example from the many which Mr. Frank M. Sutcliffe, of Whitby, England, exhibited at the Philadelphia Exhibition last year, we are pleased to note the natural posing and grouping that is so noticeable in “Under the Capstan,” as well also the softness and crispness which appears to pervade all of his work.


The group is arranged on a wharf, the girls attract the eye as the chief object of interest, then appears naturally to the view the figure of a man looking off in the distance, which gradually leads the eye out of the picture; a very happy combination. At our request Mr. Sutcliffe tells how he came to make the picture, in these words: “I had seen the girls there the night before. I took it just as it was getting dark, about half past seven, one summer’s evening. I made the girls promise to go there again with their ‘work’ as soon as they left work the next day. When they came and I arranged the camera, a crowd of boys soon gathered around and seemed likely to spoil the picture by making remarks and throwing shells and dirt at my sitters. The boys were all got rid of by setting them off for a race, for one penny, to the other end of the pier and back.” Mr. Sutcliffe looked over the ground in advance before taking the picture, and resorted to simple but effective means to secure quiet when he was ready to proceed. Both of these suggestions are practical, and should be heeded by all sincere amateurs. He has the rare faculty of producing artistic photographs which are also technically faultless. He was one of the diploma takers at the exhibition. The plate was produced by the Moss Engraving Company.  (p. 163)

Under the Capstan

Image Dimensions10.7 x 15.7 cm May

Support Dimensions15.5 x 23.3 cm