PhotoLexicon, Volume 14, nr. 29 (November 1997) (en)

Nicolaas Henneman

Saskia E. Asser


For the biggest part of his life, Nicolaas Henneman lived and worked in Great Britain. As a personal servant of William Henry Fox Talbot, he witnessed the birth of photography. At the head of Talbot’s photographic printing company in Reading and in his own portrait studio in London, Henneman had the opportunity to experiment with various photographic techniques and applications. He produced, for instance, prints for the first books illustrated with photographs. At a very early stage, Henneman was respected as one of the few portrait photographers who worked successfully with the wet collodion process.




Nicolaas Henneman is born on 8 December as the son of Arie Henneman, a day laborer from Heemskerk and Petronella Klaasdochter Wagemeester.


Nicolaas Henneman works as a servant for Jacob Boreel, the Dutch envoy to the Portuguese court, and his sister, Petronella. Jonkheer Boreel is married to Maria Joanna de Lemos Willoughby da Silva and has a pied-à-terre behind the stables on the Smidswater in The Hague, where Henneman works for him. In 1833, Boreal dies. His widow leaves for Paris, taking Henneman with him.


Henneman is said to have been a courier for Lady Elisabeth Feilding in Paris, William Henry Fox Talbot’s mother. In her address book, the name ‘Nicole’ (as Henneman was called by both Talbot and his mother) is to be found next to the note: ‘Keemskerk, Mes de Haarlem, Hollande’. This should probably be read as ‘Heemskerk, près de Haarlem’.


On 31 January 1839, Talbot announces his invention of photography (photogenic drawing) to the Royal Society, after Daguerre’s invention was announced in Paris on 7 January of the same year. It is likely that Henneman became Talbot’s personal servant in Lacock about the same time.

On 23 September 1840, Talbot invents the calotype, also referred to as the talbotype.


Talbot takes his first portrait of Henneman, while he is sawing wood in front of a shed on 16 March. As several letters affirm, Henneman is included in Talbot’s photographic experiments, together with Talbot’s wife, Constance.


From 20 May to 19 June, Henneman travels with Talbot to Belgium and Germany. This trip can be easily followed via Henneman’s cash journal, called ‘Nicholl’s Account’. Via Ostend, Malines, and Liège, they travel to Cologne, Bonn, Godesberg, Mainz, Frankfurt am Main, Darmstadt, Heidelberg, Sinsheim, Stuttgart, Ulm, Augsburg, Munich and Holzkirchen. Talbot and Henneman also take photos during this trip.


Henneman travels across France with Talbot from 12 May to 21 July. They photograph various streets and churches in Paris, Rouen Cathedral, and the bridge of Orléans, among other places of interest. Talbot has plans to establish a commercial studio in Paris, run by the Marquis de Bassano. This undertaking proves unsuccessful, however. Also a plan for a publication on the French cathedrals illustrated with photos is never realised. This plan is a product of Talbot’s new patent dated 1 June 1843, in which he states the production of photos for book illustration as his goal.


In January, Henneman is commissioned by Talbot to make preparations for the furnishing of a photographic printing firm in Reading, where photos can be printed in large quantities. This printing firm is established at 8 Russell Terrace (presently 55 Baker Street). In academic literature, this location will later become known under the name ‘Reading Establishment’.

Henneman moves to Reading on a permanent basis. Talbot makes him the head of the printing firm.

On 31 May, Henneman takes a photo of a marble bust representing Catherine Mary Walter, who had died on 16 January. Catherine was the daughter of John Walter, chief editor of The Times. This photo appears as the frontispiece in a book that the family had made in her commemoration: Record of the Death Bed of C.M. W. In July, Antoine Claudet, a French glass dealer and daguerreotype photographer working in London, receives instruction in the calotype process from Henneman. Via a license agreement with Talbot, Claudet has received permission to make and sell calotype portraits. On 5 September, Henneman states in a bill sent to Talbot that he has produced 10,400 photos in Reading.

From 25 September to 2 November, Henneman travels to Scotland with Talbot to take photos that will later appear in a publication called Sun Pictures of Scotland. Their trip includes visits to Kelso, Dryburgh Abbey, Melrose Abbey, Jedkirk, Glasgow, Callander, Stirling, Falkirk and Edinburgh.


On 24 June, the first issue of The Pencil of Nature appears, the first publication illustrated with photos brought out by Talbot and Henneman in Reading. The sixth and final issue appears in April 1846.


At the end of April, Henneman gives a lecture at the Reading Literary and Scientific Institution on the invention of photography.

In July, Henneman travels with Talbot and Calvert Richard Jones to take photographs in York and Bristol, and across Devon. In about the same period, Sun Pictures of Scotland appears with twenty-three calotypes of places in Scotland that were significant for the writer Sir Walter Scott. In October, Calvert R. Jones departs for the Mediterranean, where he takes a series of photos in Italy and on Malta, among other locations. Henneman prints his negatives.

In November, Henneman is commissioned to make a portrait of the Prince of Wales and one of the princesses. These portraits are never ascertained. In the New Rooms, a building in Reading, a Polytechnic Exhibition and Bazaar is held in December, sponsored by The Reading Mechanics Institution. Several of Henneman’s calotypes can also be seen at this exhibition.


In January, Talbot hires Benjamin B. Cowderoy as an accountant in Reading. He is to supervise the business side of the printing house.

George Bridges receives instructions in calotype printing from Henneman. Bridges subsequently travels to Malta and Sicily to take photographs. Henneman prints his negatives. On 6 June, Talbot and Henneman sign a contract concerning the latter’s duties in Reading. In August, a small book with three calotypes of drawings after hieroglyph inscriptions is produced in Reading, bearing the title: The Talbotype Applied to Hieroglyphs.

In September, Henneman marries the widow Sarah Price.

On 10 December, Talbot signs a rental contract with the instrument makers John Newman & Co., which concerns the top floors of their building at 122 Regent Street in London. His intention is to establish a photographic portrait studio at that location.


In the spring of this year, Talbot decides to close the Reading Establishment. He subsequently sends Henneman to London to set up a studio on Regent Street. At the last minute in Reading, Henneman produces another sixty-six calotypes after works by Spanish artists for the supplement to Sir William Stirling’s Annals of the Artists of Spain. It will be the first book featuring photographic reproductions of art.

In The Times, advertisements appear for ‘Nicholas Henneman’s Talbotype or Sun Picture Rooms’, in which he promotes his new studio and sales merchandise.

Thanks to the influence of Talbot’s half-sister, Caroline Mt Edgcumbe, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, Henneman is named ‘Photographer in Ordinary to Her Majesty’ on 13 October.

On 1 December, Talbot asks Henneman if he is interested in running the studio on his own with Thomas Agostine Malone as his partner, a chemist who had previously worked for Henneman in Reading.


Henneman’s wife, Sarah Price, dies on 8 March.

Henneman and Malone accept Talbot’s offer to start their own portrait studio. On 16 and 17 June, they sign an agreement with Talbot.


Henneman and Malone release an edition of photographic reproductions of seventeenth-century engraved portraits by Spanish artists. The book is produced in an edition of 50 copies.

In May, Henneman and Malone are associated for a brief time with a German portrait photographer named ‘Kuhn’.

In December, Talbot and Malone acquire a joint patent ownership: ‘Improvements in Photography, No. 12906’. For this patent, Malone investigates whether porcelain is a satisfactory support for a sensitive emulsion. Talbot pays for the patent, while the firm Henneman & Malone conducts the experiments, for which they receive £100.


On 9 March, Henneman and Malone advertise in The Literary Gazette, and on 13 March, in The Times. According to these advertisements, they make portraits (even under poor weather conditions), reproduce daguerreotypes, photograph sculptures, engravings, and rare books, sell equipment and chemicals, and have a collection of photos from France, Italy, Germany, and the United States for sale.


Henneman and Malone take part in the Great Exhibition in Hyde Park. Not long after, Malone leaves the business on Regent Street. Henneman continues the business under the name, Henneman & Co.

In November, Henneman makes a portrait of Lajos Kossuth, the Hungarian freedom fighter, who is staying in London at this time. On 31 December, Henneman advertises with this portrait in The Times. The revenue from the sale of the photo, costing fifteen shillings, will go to Hungarian refugees.


On 24 July, Henneman marries for a second time, to Sarah Ann Carver.

In December, Henneman exhibits several portraits, printed from collodion glass negatives, at the Exhibition of Recent Specimens of Photography in London. This is the first photography exhibition ever held in Great Britain.


Henneman becomes an instructor of photography at the Royal Panopticon of Science and Art. He presents a course with 6 lessons for 5 guineas. In 1856, this institute shuts it doors due to the sorry state of its financial affairs.

July 1853

Henneman’s son, Charles Nicholl, is baptised at St. Mary’s Church in Willesden.


Henneman participates in the Exhibition of Photographs and Daguerreotypes at the Gallery of The Society of Water Colour Painters in London, exhibiting eight portraits.

On 21 July, Henneman advertises in The Journal of the Photographic Society, announcing his new printing house, which he has just opened in Kensal Green on the outskirts of London. It is here that the photo printing will be done.


In January and February, Henneman participates in the Exhibition of Photographs and Daguerreotypes at the Gallery of The Society of Water Colour Painters, exhibiting various portraits and reproductions of prints.

At the Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Heliographie (‘Exhibition of Photography and Heliography’), organised in June by the Vereeniging voor Volksvlijt (‘Society for Industry’) in het Paleis voor Volksvlijt (‘Palace of Industry’) in Amsterdam, Henneman exhibits several photographs of South African Zulus. Henneman’s son, George, is born at the end of the summer.


In January and February, Henneman participates for the last time in the Exhibition of Photographs and Daguerreotypes at the Gallery of The Society of Water Colour Painters with several portraits that are colourised.

In the summer, it becomes clear that Henneman’s business is doing poorly and that it should be shut down. Talbot’s attorney, Bolton, carries out all the negotiations required to dismantle the business. First, the building at Kensal Green is sold. Bolton and Henneman then discuss the latter’s plans for the future. Unbeknownst to Henneman, Talbot assumes a major share of the debts.


Henneman’s third son, Theodore, is born in the spring. By this time, Henneman and his family have probably already left Kensal Green and are now living once again at 122 Regent Street.


Henneman asks Talbot if he can get a job with the ‘photoglyphic engraving’ company that Talbot plans to set up. Talbot’s plans, however, will never be realised.


Talbot tries—unsuccessfully—to arrange a job for Henneman with William Crookes, chief editor of the Photographic News.


Henneman heads for Birmingham at the invitation of Napoleon Sarony, the brother of the photographer Oliver Sarony, who resides in Scarborough. Between 1864 and 1866, Sarony runs a company with Robert White Thrupp at 66 New Street, Birmingham, where Henneman is thought to have been employed.


In 1868, Henneman has already informed Talbot he is dissatisfied with his situation working as an operator in Birmingham. He returns to London.


Henneman and his wife run a boarding house at 18 Half Moon Street, London. Talbot dies in 1877. Henneman’s son Theodore dies in 1891; his son George dies in 1897.


Nicolaas Henneman dies on 18 January in the presence of his son Charles.


It is unlikely that Nicolaas Henneman would have become a photographer had he remained in the Netherlands. At the time he entered into Talbot’s service at the age of twenty-six, he showed no sign of any major creative urge or noticeable artistic talent. Being born into the poor family of a day laborer, his background also prevented him from ever having studied chemistry and optics. What Henneman did have, however, was an adventurous spirit that took him to England via Paris, where he became the personal servant of William Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877). It is unclear precisely when he arrived in England, but it almost certain that he was in Lacock when Talbot read aloud his ‘Account of The Art of Photogenic Drawing’ to The Royal Society on 31 January 1839. From the correspondence that has been preserved, it becomes apparent that Talbot had included ‘Nicole’, as Henneman was called, already in the very early stages of his photographic experiments. He taught Henneman how to make ‘photogenic drawings’ (photograms), and later calotypes and salt prints. Henneman also accompanied Talbot on his travels through Germany (1842), France (1843) and Scotland (1844).

Talbot showed a great trust in Henneman’s capabilities. In 1844, he made him the head of the photographic printing firm that had been established in Reading, to the west of London. This was one of Talbot’s first attempts to commercially exploit the calotype. In 1841, Talbot had sold a licence to the miniature painter, Henry Collen, who opened the first calotype portrait studio in the world. But his highly retouched and painted portraits could in no way compete with the well-defined daguerreotypes produced by, for instance, Richard Beard and Antoine Claudet in their portrait studios. Admittedly, Claudet—who himself obtained a license from Talbot to make calotypes in his studio several years later—was no more successful in this endeavour than Collen.

Particularly in the area of portrait photography, the daguerreotype had initially met with much greater success. Talbot, however, realised from an early stage that his own positive/negative process on paper offered many more possibilities. It was for this reason that in his patent of 1 June 1843, one of his new goals was the production of stable and uniform photos for book illustrations: i.e. photos that did not fade quickly and that virtually all possessed the same tone. It was with this aim in mind that, in 1844, Talbot asked Henneman to establish a photographic printing firm in Reading that would become known by the name of Reading Establishment. Talbot himself did not assume the everyday running of the printing house, as it was hardly common practice in the nineteenth century for a gentleman of his stature to do work. Besides, Talbot was busy with other activities that interested him. In 1844, he wrote in a letter to William Jerdan, chief editor of the Literary Gazette, that the complex nature of photography necessitated a well thought out division of labour: one person’s task should be involved in the developing of new photographic processes, with the other applying and exploiting those processes that were already in existence. Talbot could not have expressed his motivation for the printing establishment in Reading in more concise terms. Because Henneman, as the Reading Establishment’s head of operations, was responsible for the commercial side of the calotype process, Talbot was free to devote his attention to technical improvements.

Henneman worked in the Reading Establishment on the publication of The Pencil of Nature, with the first edition appearing in June 1844. It would be the very first illustrated book to appear with photographs, comprising in total twenty-four images. Talbot had not made these images specifically for the publication, but rather carefully selected these from his existing stock of negatives. The subjects of these photos varied from the places and buildings that were special to Talbot—including Lacock Abbey, Oxford and Paris—to still lifes of glass, porcelain, leather book bindings and reproductions of engravings. His choice was also based on his desire to the diverse possibilities that the medium had to offer. At least one negative was made by Henneman: Plate XXII, Westminster Abbey, in the final edition. In the accompanying texts, which were also written by Talbot, the technical, historical and aesthetic aspects of photography were also addressed.

Upon his arrival in Reading, Henneman went out into the surrounding neighbourhood with his camera in hand. His photos reveal how Reading looked at the time. The printing firm has also been recorded, providing us with an idea of how Henneman went to work in producing photographic prints. A major share of this work took place outdoors, as Henneman was dependent upon sunlight. In the back garden, he set up racks with a large number of printing frames, in which paper that had been made light sensitive was exposed to light with a negative. Up to September 1844, it was in this manner that he managed to produce at least ten-thousand prints. For just the first edition of The Pencil of Nature, which appeared in an edition of 270 copies, Henneman had made more than 1,300 prints. He did not work alone, he also recruited assistance from the local shop-keepers, such as Thomas A. Malone, an apprentice druggist in the apothecary where Henneman purchased his chemical ingredients.

In Reading, Henneman also made the prints for Talbot’s tribute to Sir Walter Scott: Sun Pictures in Scotland. In addition, he did commissioned work for others. One of the first private commissions he received was from John Walter, the chief editor of The Times. Walter’s daughter, Mary Catherine Walter, had passed away young. In commemoration, her father had a small book made featuring a photograph of a marble bust of the young woman that was taken by Henneman. In 1847, Henneman produced a supplement with photos for Sir William Stirling’s Annals of the Artists of Spain. This supplement consisted of more than sixty reproductions of prints, drawings and several oil paintings. Stirling’s book was therefore the first art historical study illustrated with photographs; Henneman was therefore the first reproduction photographer. Written correspondence reveals that Henneman saw this commission as a challenge, because photographing two-dimensional artworks required technical skill. Stirling was entirely satisfied with the final result. To this day, these photo have proven to be of sound quality.

From the inventory lists that have been preserved after the dismantling of the printing establishment in 1847, it turns out that Henneman was also running a kind of photo specialty store in Reading. Here he sold equipment, chemical ingredients, paper and licences to amateur photographers, such as Nevil Story Maskeline. These photographers could also come to Henneman for lessons in photographic technique that were being offered along with the license. For some of these photographers, such as Calvert R. Jones and George Bridges, Henneman also printed the negatives at Reading. Jones and Bridges photographed primarily in the countries around the Mediterranean. The photos that they took on their travels were distributed to booksellers and print dealers throughout Great Britain. Henneman was indeed in charge of the everyday running of the printing house in Reading. His precise status, however, was only made clear upon signing a contract with Talbot on 6 June 1846. This was probably a consequence of the arrival of an accountant in January 1846, Benjamin B. Cowderoy. It was his task to oversee the business side of the company, with Henneman continuing to manage the artistic aspects. Talbot was the owner of the printing firm and determined company policy in general. He hoped that with Cowderoy he could run the firm more professionally and turn into a profitable business. The contract with Henneman was a part of this. In it was stated that Henneman would receive a salary of £150 per year and also be paid one shilling per approved negative and one shilling per hundred approved positives. Prior to this time, Henneman’s income was derived from the commission that he received from Talbot based on the number of prints he made, irrespective of the quality.

Although it seemed that Talbot wished to give the Reading Establishment a second chance with the arrival of Cowderoy, he was also toying with the idea of starting a portrait studio in London. In actuality, the first thing that Talbot had Cowderoy do was to calculate what such an undertaking was going to cost. Even Henneman in his letters had previously remarked on numerous occasions that the making of portraits could very well prove to be more lucrative than making book illustrations and photos for the print trade. The public for portrait photos was indeed much larger than the elite group of print collectors and artists that Talbot had in mind in Reading as potential buyers of his photos. An additional problem was that there were complaints regarding the preservability of the photos, which had a tendency to fade quickly. Lastly, the expenses still proved to be greater than the revenues. In December 1846, Talbot finally signed a rental agreement with the instrument makers, Newman & Co., for the top floors of their building at 122 Regent Street in London. In the summer of 1847, the Reading Establishment was closed permanently and Henneman moved to London, where he continued his business activities further. At the same time, he had a glass portrait studio built on the roof.

This studio was initially also run under the management of Talbot. But he had lost a lot of money with the printing establishment in Reading, and realising that it would be difficult to oversee things from Lacock, he offered Henneman the chance to run the studio on his own: ‘I wish to know whether you would like to set up business on your own account as a Photographer if I were to lend you some money to begin with & were to give you a license upon easy terms. I wish you to turn it over in your mind, & let me know if you are to do so I think you might do well to enter into partnership with Malone as I think you two might do a good business in Regent Street’. It had become apparent in Reading that Thomas A. Malone possessed a solid knowledge of technique and chemistry.

The extensive correspondence with Talbot leads one to believe that Malone focussed his energy primarily on experimentation, while Henneman ran the studio. Unfortunately, very few of the photos that Henneman and Malone took on Regent Street have survived. The only portrait that can be attributed to them with certainty—based on the stamp on the reverse side—is that of the painter, William Henry Hunt. The artist has been eternalised, while having turned his face towards the camera, which gives the photo a dynamic character. The fine gridlines that have been drawn on the portrait in pencil may indicate that Hunt used the photo to paint a self-portrait. The portrait has not been retouched, something that would most certainly have pleased Talbot. This was indeed something about which he often complained, i.e. the way in which the miniature painters employed by Henneman & Malone ruined photos with their heavy retouching.

Malone relinquished his activities for the studio on Regent Street in 1851. After having exhibited works together with Henneman at the Crystal Palace for the occasion of the world exposition, Malone began teaching at the Royal College of Chemistry. Henneman continued on under the name, Henneman & Co.

In September 1851, it seemed that Henneman was destined to receive—with Talbot’s help—the large commission from the Royal Commissioners of the world exhibition to produce photos for the jury reports. However, the commissioners were so dissatisfied with the quality of the initial photos that Henneman made for them in relation to the price (3 guinea per negative), that they wanted to break the agreement with Henneman and Talbot. The negatives and prints were supposedly not strong enough and faded quickly: a complaint that Henneman incidentally heard more often. In the correspondence exchanged with the Royal Commissioners, Talbot tried to convince them that they were wrong. He stated that it was impossible for them to have an informed opinion, considering that they knew nothing about photography. Henry Cole, chairman of the Royal Commissioners, was to have the last say on 14 November 1851: ‘In fact at no price whatever would it be worth while having Mr Henneman’s printing. They are too dark, not at all artistic and already show serious defects’. The Englishman, Hugh Owen, the Frenchman, Claude-Marie Ferrier, and Friedrich von Martens, who likely originated from Belgium, were ultimately the men who made the negatives. Robert Bingham received the commission to make the necessary 20,000 prints in the South of France.

Henneman profited more from Scott Archer’s invention of the wet plate collodion glass negative in 1851. By 1852, Henneman was one of the first professional photographers to make negatives with this technique. And this was not without success: the portraits made with this method were greatly admired, as can be read in an account found in the French photography magazine, La Lumière. The portrait of an old man in a cape, for instance, calls to mind associations with the portraits that the French photographer Nadar had begun making in France during this same period. The portrait exudes a certain grandeur, which may very well explain why it was for a long time believed that it was a depiction of Lajos Kossuth, the Hungarian freedom fighter, who also sat in front of Henneman’s camera in 1851. In these years, however, Kossuth is certain to have been substantially younger than the old man portrayed here. Moreover, a second portrait of this very man is held in the collection of The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television in Bradford—but then photographed in profile—on which one can read the name ‘Signor Sentura’ written in mirror image. The year 1853 was an extremely successful year for Henneman, when he produced 833 portraits. In this same year, an editor of Charles Dickens’ magazine, Household Words, described Henneman’s studio, where he observed the photograph skilfully preparing a glass negative. Also living in London was the Swede, Oscar Gustav Rejlander (1813-1875), who also managed to find 122 Regent Street when seeking a capable photographer who could teach him the profession: ‘In 1853, having inquired in London for a good teacher, I was directed to Henneman. We agreed for so much for three or five lessons; but, as I was in a hurry to get back to the country, I took all the lessons during one afternoon! Three hours in the calotype and waxed-paper process, and half-an-hour sufficed for the collodion process!!’. The French photography critic, Ernest Lacan, devoted an extensive article to Henneman in La Lumière, ecstatically praising his series of photos on the Zulus. Henneman is certain to have possessed the skills to put his models at ease. As a result, his portraits never come across as being forced. Undoubtedly, the Zulus’ visit to London, where they were put on exhibit, is certain to have been a frightening experience for them. Even then, Henneman succeeded in having them pose in a manner that was relatively relaxed and natural. One point of critique concerned the manner in which the photos were printed. According to Lacan, Henneman had failed to fix and finish finish his prints adequately, and for this reason, they had lost a significant amount of their strength and tone.

Besides the large portrait studio, Henneman again opened a printing house in 1853. He had it built in Kensal Green, then a suburb of London. Business operations were run according to a factory-like approach, comparable with that of Blanquart-Évrard’s ‘Imprimerie Photographique’ in Lille, which was operating at about the same time. For each stage of the production process—from the preparation of the negatives to the mounting of the prints on cardboard—separate studios were set up, located directly adjacent to each other. However, the printing house never received any major commissions.

After 1853, the number of Henneman’s commissions diminished drastically—a consequence of the steadily rising competition. Because Scott Archer’s wet collodion process was never protected by a patent, everyone was able to learn and profit from the technique. As opposed to the calotype, for which professional photographers were required to pay Talbot a substantial sum of money in order to acquire a license (for amateurs, Talbot offered a lower price). Henneman was hardly able to defend himself against the sometimes rather unfair competition. In 1856, Talbot’s attorney, Bolton, finally initiated the negotiations, which eventually led to the shutting down of both the studio and printing house in 1858. In the process, Talbot was generous enough to assume a large share of Henneman’s debts. Talbot and Henneman parted ways for good when the latter departed with his family to Birmingham to try out his luck as an operator with Napoleon Sarony and his business partner, Robert White Thrupp. This was not met with success, as Henneman’s final letter to Talbot in 1866 clearly attests: ‘I am here in a situation till July. I was obliged to take it as London is awash with photographers. They advertise themselves as first rate artists at 30 shilling a week. I do get four pounds here but I am sorry to say it does not suit my health. I am pretty well shut up for 8 hours in a room by stretching my arms out I can touch the walls both ways so I can’t call it a room but a closet.’ Not long after, Henneman began a second career as a pension owner in London.

Henneman’s journey on the path of photography did not always meet with indisputable success, as was often the fate of many pioneers. This by no means implies that his activities were lacking in significance. On the contrary, the fact that he was Talbot’s assistant in his photographic printing establishment and ran his own portrait studio, makes him one of the first professional photographers. He was unable to build upon the experience of his predecessors and by necessity usually had to find out for himself the best way to exploit the new medium. Although it may have seemed that Henneman had struck his own path in London, in reality, he never became entirely independent of Talbot. In financial terms most certainly, the latter had always continued to assist him in his endeavours. The clarity and simplicity found in the small oeuvre that Henneman left behind contradict much of the critique he sometimes had to endure. It was a critique frequently heard with respect to the still far from perfect photographic technique.


Primary bibliography

images in:

William Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature, Londen (Longman, Brown, Green & Longmans) 1844-1846.

John Walter, Record of The Death Bed of C.M.W., z.p. [Reading] (The Talbotype Establishment) z.j. [1844].

William Henry Fox Talbot, Sun Pictures in Scotland, z.p. [Reading] (The Talbotype Establishment) z.j. [1845].

William Henry Fox Talbot, The Talbotype Applied to Hieroglyphics, z.p. [Reading] (The Talbotype Establishment) z.j. [1846].

William Stirling, Talbotype Illustrations to the ‘Annals of the Artists of Spain’, Londen (Ollivier) z.j. [1848].

Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, 1851; Reports by the Juries on the subjects in the 30 classes into which the exhibition was divided, Londen (Spicer Bros) 1852.

Secondary bibliography

Gustave Le Gray, Nouveau Traité théorique et pratique de Photographie sur papier et sur verre, contenant les publications antérieures et une nouvelle methode pour opérer sur un papier sec restant sensible huit a dixjours, Parijs z.j. [1850].

Paul Jeuffrain, Héliographie sur papier, in La Lumière 1 (1851)9, p. 33-34.

Francis Wey, Nouvelles diverses, in La Lumière 1 (1851) 33, p. 131.

N.P. Lerebours, Plaque, papier ou verre?, in La Lumière 2 (1852) 15, p. 58-59.

Fry, Nouvelles d’Angleterre. Sir David Brewster et M. Claudet, in La Lumière 2 (1852) 24, p. 95.

Ernest Lacan, Correspondence, in La Lumière 3 (1853) 6, p. 22-23.

Henry Morley en W.H. Wills, Photography, in Household Words 7 (19 maart 1853) 156, p. 55-61.

Société photographique de Londres, in La Lumière 3 (1853) 14, p. 54.

Frank Scot, La photographie en Angleterre, in La Lumière 3 (1853) 20, p. 77-78.

Ernest Lacan, Réunion photographique, in La Lumière 3 (1853) 22, p. 87-88.

Ernest Lacan, Revue Photographique, Artistes Anglais, M. Henneman, in La Lumière 3 (1853) 52, p. 207-208.

Ch.G., Exposition Photographique, in La Lumière 4 (1854) 8, p. 29-30.

Ernest Lacan, Galerie photographique de M. Disdéri, in La Lumière 4 (1854) 45, p. 179-180.

Ernest Lacan, Exposition Photographique d’Amsterdam, in La Lumière 5 (1855) 25, p. 97.

Ernest Lacan, La photographie en Angleterre, in La Lumière 5 (1855) 25, p. 97-98.

O.G. Rejlander, An Apology for Art-Photography, in British Journal of Photography 10 (16 februari 1863) 184, p. 76-78.

Uit het verleden, in Lux 4 (februari 1893) 5, p. 136-139.

John Spiller, Obituary. Benjamin Brecknell Turner, in The Photographic Journal 19 (1895), p. 159.

J. Dudleyjohnston, William Henry Fox Talbot F.R.S. Material towards a biography, in The Photographic Journal 87 (januari 1947) l, p . 3-13.

Helmut en Alison Gernsheim, The History of Photography from the earliest use of the camera obscura in the eleventh century up to 1914, Londen etc. (Oxford University Press) 1955, p. 125, 128-130, 165, 178 (idem revised and enlarged ed.: The History of Photography from the camera obscura to the beginning of the modern era, Londen (Thames and Hudson) 1969, p. 170-171, 174-175, 231, 246).

J. Geselschap, Een Hollandse jongen hielp Fox Talbot, in Focus 45 (12 november 1960) 23, p. 765.

D.B. Thomas, The First Negatives. An account of the discovery and early use of the negative-positive photographic process, Londen (Her Majesty’s Stationary Office) 1964.

V.F. Snow en D.B. Thomas, The Talbotype Establishment at Reading 1844-1847, in The Photographic Journal 106 (februari 1966) 2, p. 56-67.

Claude Magelhaes, Nicolaas Henneman, een 19e eeuwse Nederlandse fotograaf in Engeland, in Foto 22 (mei 1967) 5, p. 216-217.

J. Dudley Johnston, William Henry Fox Talbot, F.R.S. Material towards a biography, in The Photographic Journal 108 (december 1968) 12, p. 361-371.

Claude Magelhaes, Nederlandse fotografie. De eerste 100 jaar, Utrecht/Antwerpen (Bruna & Zoon) 1969, p. XI, afb. 21.

William Henry Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature. [Facsimile van de 1844-1846 editie met een nieuwe introductie door Beaumont Newhall], New York (Da Capo Press) 1969.

D.B. Thomas, Science Museum Photography Collection, Londen (Her Majesty’s Stationery Office) 1969.

Claude Magelhaes, Uit de geschiedenis van de fotografie. 2. Over Talbot, de eerste fotografische drukkerijen en de eerste kalotypisten, in Foto 25 (december 1970), p. 657-659.

Edgar Yoxall Jones, Father of Art Photography: O.G. Rejlander 1813-1875, Newton Abbot (David & Charles) 1973, p. 1.

Arthur T. Gill, The Reading Establishment, in The Photographic Journal 114 (december 1974) 12, p. 610-611.

Arthur T. Gill, Record of C.M.W., in The Photographic Journal 115 (oktober 1975) 10, p. 490-491.

H.J.P. Arnold, William Henry Fox Talbot. Pioneer of Photography and Man of Science, Londen (Hutchinson Benham) 1977.

Jan Coppens, Uit de historie van de fotografie. W.H. Fox Talbot, 100 jaar geleden stierf de uitvinder van het negatief-positief procédé. Klaas Henneman Talbot’s Nederlandse assistent, in Foto 32 (november 1977) 11, p. 74-79.

Robert Lassam, Fox Talbot. Photographer, Tisbury 1979.

Gail Buckland, Fox Talbot and the Invention of Photography, Londen (Scolar Press) 1980.

P.A.M, van der Helm, Nicolaas Henneman 1813-1898, de uit het oog verloren oom, in Gedenkboek Afdeling Kennemerland van de Nederlandse Genealogische Vereniging, Haarlem 1978, p. 20-30.

Arthur T. Gill, Nicholas Henneman 1813-1893, in History of Photography 4 (oktober 1980) 4, p. 313-322.

Arthur T. Gill, Nicholas Henneman. Correspondence from Arthur T. Gill, in History of Photography 5 (januari 1981) 1, p. 84-86.

Helmut Gernsheim, The Origins of photography, New York (Thames and Hudson) 1982, 3de dr., p. 186, 199-210, 237.

Nancy B. Keeler, Illustrating the ‘Reports by the Juries’ of the Great Exhibition of 1851; Talbot, Henneman, and Their Failed Commission, in History of Photography 6 (juli 1982) 3, p. 257-272.

Jabez Hogg and Mr. Johnson, in The Photographic Collector 4 (1983) 1, p. 8-9.

Helmut Gernsheim, Incunabula of British Photographic Literature 1839-1875, Londen/Berkeley (Scolar Press) 1984, p. 8, 15-16.

Mike Weaver, Henry Fox Talbot: Conversation Pieces, in Mike Weaver (ed.), British Photography in the Nineteenth Century. The Fine Art Tradition, Cambridge etc. (Cambridge University Press) 1985, p. 14.

Mark Haworth-Booth, Benjamin Brecknell Turner: Photographic Views from Nature, in Mike Weaver (ed.), British Photography in the Nineteenth Century. The Fine Art Tradition, Cambridge etc. (Cambridge University Press) 1985, p. 80.

Anne Kelsey Hammond, Aesthetic Aspects of the Photomechanical Print, in Mike Weaver (ed.), British Photography in the Nineteenth Century. The Fine Art Tradition, Cambridge etc. (Cambridge University Press) 1985, p. 164.

Larry J. Schaaf, Catalogue Three, Sun Pictures. The Harold White Collection of Works by William Henry Fox Talbot, New York (Hans P. Kraus jr, Fine Photographs) 1987.

Larry J. Schaaf, Catalogue Four, Sun Pictures. The Harold White Collection of Historical Photographs from the Circle of Talbot, New York (Hans P. Kraus jr, Fine Photographs) 1987.

Hubertus von Amelunxen, Die aufgehobene Zeit. Die Erfindung der Photographie durch William Henry Fox Talbot, Berlijn (Nishen) 1988.

Jan Coppens, Nicolaas Henneman, assistent van Talbot en leider van de eerste fotografische drukkerij, in Els Barents en Jaap Lieverse (samenstelling), Fotografie opnieuw belicht. Geschiedenis en actualiteit van de Nederlandse en Belgische fotografie, Amsterdam (Nicolaas Henneman Stichting) 1989, p. 9-15.

Jennifer Lloyd Cowherd, The Silkworm and the Fly in ‘Actinographic’ Prints; by Nicolaas Henneman, in History of Photography 13 (1989) 2, p. 133-134.

LarryJ. Schaaf, H. Fox Talbot’s The Pencil of Nature, Anniversary Facsimile, New York (Hans P. Krausjr., Fine Photographs) 1989.

A.V. Simcock, Photography 150. Images from the First Generation. A small exhibition of treasures from the Museum’s celebrated collection of early photographs (1839-1859), to mark the 150th anniversary of the invention, Oxford (Museum of the History of Science) 1989.

Rollin Buckman, The Photographic Work of Calvert Richard Jones, Londen (Science Museum/Her Majesty’s Stationary Office) 1990, p. 9, 12, 24, 28.

Graham Smith, Disciples of Light. Photographs in the Brewster Album, Malibu (The J. Paul Getty Museum) 1990, p. 37-38, 153-154.

LarryJ. Schaaf, Out of the Shadows. Herschel, Talbot & the invention of Photography, New Haven/Londen (Yale University Press) 1992, p. 86, 115, 125, 140-142, 158.

Mike Weaver (red.), Henry Fox Talbot, Selected Texts and Bibliography, Oxford (Clio) 1992.

Maria Morris Hambourg (e.a.), The Waking Dream. Photography’s First Century. Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York (The Metropolitan Museum of Art/ Harry N. Abrams) 1993, p. 265-266, 268-269.

Michael Pritchard, A Directory of London Photographers 1841-1908, Watford/Londen 1994.

Pam Roberts, The Royal Photographic Society Collection, Bath (The Royal Photographic Society) 1994.

Larry J. Schaaf, Selected Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot 1823-1874, drawn from the Talbot Collection of the National Museum of Photography, Film & Television, Londen/Bradford (Science Museum/National Museum of Photography, Film & Television) 1994.

Anthony J. Hamber, ‘A Higher Branch of Art’. Photographing the Fine Arts in England, 1839-1880, Londen (Gordon and Breach Publishers) 1996, p. 70-78.


1845 (g) Reading, New Rooms, Polytechnic Exhibition and Bazaar.

1851 (g) Londen, Crystal Palace, Exhibition of the Works of lndustry of All Nations.

1852 (g) Londen, Society of Arts, Exhibition of Recent Specimens of Photography.

1853/1854 (g) Londen, Gallery of The Society of Water Colour Painters, Exhibition of Photographs and Daguerreotypes.

1855 (g) Amsterdam, Paleis van Volksvlijt, Tentoonstelling van Photographie en Heliographie gehouden door de Vereeniging van Volksvlijt.

1855 (g) Londen, Gallery of The Society of Water Colour Painters, Exhibition of Photographs and Daguerreotypes.

1856 (g) Londen, Gallery of The Society of Water Colour Painters, Exhibition of Photographs and Daguerreotypes.


Amsterdam, Saskia E. Asser (ongepubliceerde doctoraalscriptie kunstgeschiedenis: Nicolaas Henneman 1813-1898. Een vroege Nederlandse fotograaf in Engeland, Rijksuniversiteit Leiden 1996).

Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet, bibliotheek.

Bath, The Royal Photographic Society.

Bradford, The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television (correspondentie).

Geldrop, dhr. P.A.M, van der Helm (documentatie en mondelinge informatie).

Lacock, The Fox Talbot Museum (correspondentie).

Leiden, Prentenkabinet, bibliotheek en documentatiebestand.

Londen, The Public Records Office.

Oxford, The Bodleian Library.


Amsterdam, Rijksprentenkabinet.

Austin, Gernsheim Collection.

Bath, The Royal Photographic Society.

Bradford, The National Museum of Photography, Film and Television.

Lacock, The Fox Talbot Museum.

Malibu, The J. Paul Getty Museum.

Oxford, The Bodleian Library.

Oxford, The Museum of the History of Science.

Windsor, Windsor Castle. The Royal Archives.