A MAJOR exhibition of pictures by Victorian photographer Henry Taunt has reached his home city.

From his shop in Broad Street, Taunt was one of Victorian England’s most prolific photographers.

His maps and guides, illustrated by photographs of the River Thames, played a major role in developing the Victorians’ love of the river and leisure pursuits including rowing, camping and steamer trips.

Books such as Three Men in a Boat and The Wind in the Willows achieved popularity partly thanks to Taunt’s albums and postcards of the Thames, from its Cotswold source to London.

Photographers Jeff Robins and Graham Diprose were inspired by Taunt’s first photographic guides of the river from the 1870s and 1880s, and picked out his finest views of the Thames to recapture them 125 years later.

Their exhibition, which has been touring the country, shows images of the Thames from Taunt, and the same views in recent years.

Mr Diprose said: “We have been touring the exhibition since October 2007 and it’s lovely to be able to display it a short distance from Henry Taunt’s birthplace.

“We have been delighted by the public reaction to seeing how much, or in many cases how little, the Thames has changed between Victorian times and the present day.

“Taunt was born in St Ebbe’s, only a stone’s throw from the Museum of Oxford, and we are delighted to bring the exhibition to the city where he grew up, developed his mastery of photography, and ran his business for almost 50 years.”

The exhibition, In the footsteps of Henry Taunt, opens at the museum off St Aldate’s on Saturday, October 24, and runs until November 28.

A 192-page hardback book of the project, entitled River Thames Revisited, is available at a cost of £25. It contains 70 pairs of pictures of the Thames then and now, as well as extracts from Taunt’s Victorian guide book to the river.

On the opening day, visitors can join Mr Diprose from 1pm to 2pm, for an introduction to the exhibition.

For further information, visit henrytaunt-footsteps.co.uk