Shadows of War: Roger Fenton's Photographs of the Crimea. 1855, The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Edinburgh, until November 26. www.royalcollection.org.uk

A MARBLE bust of Alfred, Lord Tennyson greets you half way up the stairs as you enter The Queen's Gallery, where an exhibition featuring photographic work and related artworks about the Crimean War is on display. If you pick up the audio guide to this fascinating exhibition, you will be able to hear Tennyson's shaky voice, recorded in the early years of the 20th century, reading the introduction to The Charge of the Light Brigade. This famous narrative poem, once memorised by every school pupil, was written after Tennyson read a report of this bloody incident, which happened during the Battle of Balaclava in 1854.

Pioneering Victorian photographer Roger Fenton arrived in the Crimea in late 1854 after the major battles in this desperate conflict – which saw Britain, France and Turkey pitched against Russia – had been fought. Through a series of portraits Fenton depicted the battered and bruised faces of war. As shown in this exhibition, his images, using the relatively new art form of photography, set the scene for other artists to place it in vivid historical context for generations to come.

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