This is the famous work “Fading Away” by Henry Peach Robinson. He took 5 different negatives and put them together to form one stunning photo of a girl dying surrounded by family. It was highly controversial. Many critics complained that it was essentially a fake, whilst others bitterly attacked the intrusive nature of the photo on the intimate moment of family death. This criticism was somewhat unfair since Robinson was creating a composite photo and therefore wasn’t intruding at all. The work was highly commercially successful, and illustrated Robinson’s desire to create art using photographs, rather than just using photos to document real things. “Fading Away” was highly approved by Prince Albert, who bought copies.
A similar, early work “She never told her love” seems to have been used as the study for the dying girl in the centre of “Fading Away”