Frederick Hollyer

Frederick Hollyer (British, 1837-1933)

Frederick Hollyer was a print-maker and engraver who collaborated with members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in trying to develop large-scale photographic prints as a better artistic alternative to engravings. Hollyer was so successful in developing the technique and able to achieve such fine control of the whole process that some of his platinotypes are almost indistinguishable from drawings.

.A platinotype is a type of photograph made by a process derived from that invented by William Willis in 1873, but perfected to the degree of facsimile by Frederick Hollyer when photographing drawings. The paper was impregnated (not coated as is the usual case) with light sensitive compounds of iron. After exposure through a negative, a fine layer of platinum was deposited on the exposed areas by means of a chemical reaction. The temperature when the reaction took place determined the colour of the image.