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Mer de Glace

Reference URL

Mer de Glace 1860s

Not on display

Bedford was a skilled landscape photographer and this is one of his most spectacular views. The Mer de Glace is a glacier in the French Alps, just North of Mont Blanc. Its name derives from the wave-like appearance of the snow and ice. Bedford faced enormous difficulties working at such high altitudes and he may well have used dry collodion plates prepared in advance in order to reduce the amount of equipment he had to carry. His work reflects intense contemporary interest in mountaineering and exploration.

Glossary Open


A transparent film of gun cotton dissolved in ether and containing potassium iodide spread over a glass plate negative. Wet collodion was sensitised on the spot and developed immediately. It gives high resolution of detail. Dry collodion was usually found to be less sensitive.



  • Acc. No. PGP R 877
  • Medium Albumen print
  • Size 16.50 x 20.70 cm
  • Credit Gift of Mrs. Riddell in memory of Peter Fletcher Riddell 1985