Skating Carnival was Notman’s most ambitious undertaking in composite photography. The process began with an overall design, then individual or small group portraits were made, prints of which would be cut out and pasted onto a composite negative and then printed again. Skating Carnival was made from more than three hundred individual photographs. The original wet collodion negative measured 10 by 13 centimetres, but prints were available in a range of sizes. As with all of his photographs, Notman offered the option of a hand-painted version of Skating Carnival.
William Notman’s Photographic Inventions
William Notman, Skating Carnival, Victoria Rink, Montreal, 1870
Painted composite, silver salts, oil on canvas, albumen process, 137 x 176 cm, McCord Museum, Montreal