Iconic, a much over-used and abused word, surely must apply to Robert Howlett’s 1857 portrait of Isambard Kingdom Brunel standing before the launching chains of the Great Eastern. The photo is in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art – see HERE.
In David White’s authoritative review of photographer Robert Howlett, we learn how this early Victorian photographer took photos of Brunel and the building of the steamship the Great Eastern. Here’s the famous portrait of Brunel, and beneath a photo of the general scene of the ship being built, with Brunel beside the launching chains. Truly iconic images. [Click on images to enlarge].