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Panorama of Malta (Valletta. Malta, from the Grand Harbour)

An English engraver employed by the Imperial Ottoman Mint in Istanbul, Robertson became interested in photography and paired up with another British photographer, Felice Beato, to open a studio in 1854. Both men took a trip with Beato’s brother Antonio to Malta (an island country in the Mediterranean) in 1854 or 1856. The firm of Robertson, Beato and Company pioneered the scenic panorama. These spectacular multi-sheet photographs required carefully orchestrated contiguous exposures of a scene on separate plates and then the joining together of the resulting prints into a single, unbroken image. The side panels of this three-sheet panorama were able to be folded inward to fit into a book or portfolio.

James Robertson
English, ca. 1810–after 1881
Panorama of Malta (Valletta. Malta, from the Grand Harbour)
ca. 1854–56
Albumen print
Image/sheet (three sheets attached together): 6 15/16 x 29 5/8 in. (17.6 x 75.2 cm); mount: 14 x 20 in (35.6 x 50.8 cm)
Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, 82.9.4