St Paul’s Cathedral from Ludgate Circus by Alvin Langdon Coburn (c. 1905)

The photograph “St Paul’s Cathedral from Ludgate Circus” was captured by artist Alvin Langdon Coburn around 1905. The image presents a view of London’s iconic St Paul’s Cathedral as seen from Ludgate Circus.

In the photograph, St Paul’s Cathedral looms in the background, its large dome and spires forming a majestic silhouette against a hazy sky. It appears to be an overcast day in London, with a soft diffusion of light that adds to the ethereal atmosphere of the scene. The foreground is dominated by streets bustling with activity, which is typical of early 20th-century London. The defining feature in the lower right is a plume of steam or smoke, likely from a steam train or a bus, which contributes to the sense of industrial vibrancy of the era. This plume adds a dynamic element to the otherwise misty and calm depiction of the city, and the ethereal quality of the image gives it a dream-like essence, characteristic of Coburn’s pioneering work in pictorialist photography where the focus is on the aesthetic visual quality rather than just documentation.

Other Photographs from Alvin Langdon Coburn

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