The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Psalm 38

Psalm 38

A caption within the print below the image reads:'My strength faileth me, the light of my eyes is also gone from me'. The full quote is 'My heart throbbeth, my strength faileth me: As for the light of mine eyes, it also is gone from me.'

Photographed by the little-known Charles Tune. A blindstamp in the lower right-hand corner identifies the publisher, Richardson and Co of London.

Charles Anthony Tune (1814-1887) was born at Gosport in Hampshire. By 1839 he was working as servant in Brighton and then later as 'shoemaker' there. From Brighton he moved to London and then to Leicester by which time (1851) he was describing himself as a 'ticket writer' – someone who wrote labels and the like for shop windows. By 1856 he had learned photography and established himself as a 'photographic artist' in Birmingham. According to a story passed down through his family, he photographed some paintings despite having been specifically refused permission by the copyright holder, who subsequently threatened legal action. He and his wife Mary thought it advisable to move to France. Using a horse-drawn photographic laboratory Charles travelled around northern France taking photographs during the Franco-Prussian War. Mary died in 1870 but the following year Charles remarried in Boulogne and returned to England shortly afterwards with his new wife, Elizabeth, setting up a studio in Tottenham, North London.

Charles Tune died in Tottenham in 1887, aged 72.

A large number of his scenes of destruction taken during the Franco-Prussian War are in The McCormick Library of Special Collections, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois and can be viewed online. The Israel Museum in Jerusalem has a companion photograph to the one shown here, titled ‘Be Thou Faithful Until Death’, with the same cross and the same rocks. The same model appears in both but wearing different costumes.


Code: 125207
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