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NADAR (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) and Adrien TOURNACHON (French, 1820-1910 and 1825-1903) Pierrot with fruit, 1854-1855 Gelatin coated salt print 28.0 x 20.9 cm

NADAR (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) and Adrien Tournachon

(French, 1820-1910 and 1825-1903)

Pierrot with fruit, 1854-1855

Gelatin coated salt print (vernis-cuir), 28.0 x 20.9 cm

 

According to Maria Morris Hambourg:

“Anything can happen in the magical world of the fairy pantomime. In answer to Pierrot's supplication, a basket of fruit materializes between his hands, a gift from heaven that strikes him with delight…

Although Nadar could have provided Deburau with any type of food—sausage, wine, a sumptuos cake—he opted for fruit, the first answer to a primitive man's appetite. The sensuous luxury of enjoying choice fruits hors saison (out of season) was also a Parisian passion. The wildest desires of the most demanding epicures were satisfied by Couturier, the elegant fruitier at 38, boulevard des Italiens, diagonally across the street from Nadar's studio. The suite of Pierrot pictures that Nadar devised was intended as a novelty to draw customers from the crowds strolling the boulevard. Had it been displayed, as he planned, in a sidewalk vitrine, this photograph would have charmed the knowing flâneur. Pierrot’s satisfying dream-come-true is no stage artifice but a real-life extravagance from Couturier, who, like the artiste-photographe and the mime, knew the value of a little well-paced publicity. To share in the feast one might visit the emporium across the way, the studio on the roof, or, of course, the Funambules.”

Inquire
Lewis CARROLL (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) (English, 1832-1898) Alice Liddell and fern, Christ Church deanery garden, Oxford, 1860 Hand-colored albumen print 14.9 x 14.1 cm

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) (English, 1832-1898)

Alice Liddell and fern, Christ Church deanery garden, Oxford, 1860

Hand-colored albumen print

14.9 x 14.1 cm (13.8 x 10.7 cm visible inside oval mat)

 

Lewis Carroll had this presentation print specially hand-colored as a gift to Alice.

Carroll had made an ink drawing of Alice as an end-piece on page 90 of his manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground. Evidently dissatisfied with the result, which failed to capture the spirit of his child muse, he took a print of the present image, trimmed it down to an oval head-and shoulders and pasted it over the drawing. This particular portrait thus acquired a very special place among the many studies that the photographer had made of his ideal child friend. No portrait of Alice could be more closely associated with the texts that bear her name.

"It is evident," wrote Alice in later years, "that Mr. Dodgson was far in advance of his time in the art of photography and of posing his subjects."

Eight prints of this image are recorded. These comprise: five prints in the Liddell family collection; two prints in the M. L. Parrish collection, Princeton University; and the print in the original Alice manuscript, now in the British Library. — Edward Wakeling, 2001

Inquire
William Henry Fox TALBOT (English, 1800-1877) Bust of Patroclus, 1842 Salt print from a calotype negative 13.0 x 12.8 cm on 23.0 x 18.8 cm paper

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877)

Bust of Patroclus, 1842

Salt print from a calotype negative

13.0 x 12.8 cm on 23.0 x 18.8 cm paper

 

Patroclus, the defender of Achilles, was Talbot's first and favorite portrait sitter. The plaster cast he had at Lacock Abbey was a copy of the marble in the British Museum. Talbot's chemistry required lengthy exposures, and a stationary object, such as this bust, was the ideal subject. The brush strokes around the border of this exceptional print indicate that Talbot coated the sheet of paper by hand.

Printed from the same negative as Plate V in The Pencil of Nature.

Inquire
Benjamin Brecknell TURNER (English, 1815-1894) Bust of Dionysus, early 1850s Calotype negative, waxed 21.5 x 19.0 cm

Benjamin Brecknell Turner (English, 1815-1894)

Bust of Dionysus, early 1850s

Calotype negative, waxed

21.5 x 19.0 cm

 

Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and the patron of theater, is perhaps better known by his Roman name of Bacchus. The cast in this photograph is after the head of Dionysus in the Capitoline Museum, Rome. Traces of small paper tabs attached indicate that the negative was temporarily attached to the glass in the printing frame-the tabs kept the negative in one position while the progress of the print was being examined.

Inquire
Eugène ATGET (French, 1857-1927) "Rue Asselin 19e, La Villette", 1924-1925 Matte albumen print, negative no. 47 22.5 x 17.9 cm

Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)

"Rue Asselin 19e, La Villette," 1924-1925

Matte albumen print, negative no. 47

22.5 x 17.9 cm

 

Atget made the first of his prostitute pictures in 1921. They represent a very small segment of his entire oeuvre. He did not photograph the prostitutes at work as he did other working folks. As a result, this tiny group of pictures are perhaps the only examples of Atget’s work considered true portraits. John Szarkowski remarked that “If one visited every central casting agency on earth to fine the perfect models for a picture of three madams (or a madam and two workers) weighing business prospects, one would never find these three.”

Inquire
Julia Margaret CAMERON (English, born in India, 1815-1879) "Hypatia, Marie Spartali"*, 1867 or 1868 Albumen print from a wet collodion negative 31.9 x 24.8 cm

Julia Margaret Cameron (English, born in India, 1815-1879)

"Hypatia, Marie Spartali," 1867 or 1868

Albumen print from a wet collodion negative

31.9 x 24.8 cm

 

The model here presents a very different appearance from many of Cameron's other milkmaids and daughters of friends, perhaps because she herself was an artists' model and an accomplished watercolorist. Marie Euphrosyne Spartali (1843-1927) was the daughter of the Greek consul in London. A pupil of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown, she first exhibited at the Dudley Gallery and in 1867, about the time of this photograph, she was admitted into the Royal Academy. Spartali married the American painter and photographer William James Stillman (1828-1901) in 1871. Before posing for Cameron, she had modeled for Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and for Edward Burne-Jones.

Inquire
Gjon MILI (Albanian, 1904-1984) "Pablo Picasso making a space drawing" of a bull, 1949 Gelatin silver print 33.6 x 26.6 cm

Gjon Mili (Albanian, 1904-1984)

"Pablo Picasso making a space drawing" of a bull, 1949

Gelatin silver print

33.6 x 26.6 cm

 

Mili immigrated to the US from Albania in 1923. Upon graduating from MIT he worked in lighting research at Westinghouse until 1938. As Harold Edgerton and his MIT colleagues refined their experimental electronic flash systems in 1937, it was Mili who informed them how these systems performed in the field, passing on technical information to them. The beginning of Mili's career as a freelance photographer for Life magazine in 1939 until his death forty-five years later, coincided with his specializing in stroboscopic and stop-action photographs. A major retrospective of Mili's work was held at the International Center of Photography in 1980.

Inquire
Giacomo CANEVA (Italian, 1813-1865) Girl with vase, Rome, 1850s Coated salt or albumen print from a collodion negative 18.8 x 9.3 cm

Giacomo Caneva (Italian, 1813-1865)

Girl with vase, Rome, 1850s

Coated salt or albumen print from a collodion negative

18.8 x 9.3 cm

 

Caneva was a Roman painter who took up photography.  He was the inspiration behind, and a founder of, the Caffe Greco School of painting and photography in Rome, where its members gathered at the base of the Spanish steps. Caneva's embrace of photography, first the daguerreotype and then the negative process, was a natural outgrowth of his training as a painter of perspective scenes. He was the first photographer working in nineteenth-century Rome to make genre scenes with peasants as a principle subject.

Inquire
David Octavius HILL & Robert ADAMSON (Scottish, 1802-1870 & 1821-1848) Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton, Newhaven, "They were twa bonnie lasses", circa 1845 Salt print from a calotype negative 19.0 x 13.6 cm

David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson (Scottish, 1802-1870 & 1821-1848)

Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton, Newhaven, "They were twa bonnie lasses", circa 1845

Salt print from a calotype negative

19.0 x 13.6 cm

 

Among the earliest photographers to exploit both the artistic and documentary potential of the portrait, D. O. Hill & Robert Adamson made a survey of contemporary life in the picturesque fishing village of Newhaven, just outside Edinburgh.  In Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton, an 1845 salt print from a calotype negative in the series, the photographers saw that the true character and beauty of the fishwives was intimately connected to their way of life and the precarious nature of their ties to the hard-working fishermen, often absent at sea. The traditional dress of the fisherwomen lends itself particularly well to the calotype medium. Hill & Adamson’s skillful deployment of light and shade and their positioning of the sitters is a fine example of early portraiture and a sought after example of their work.

Inquire
Gilles-Louis CHRÉTIEN (French, 1754-1811) Edme Quenedey, circa 1800 Physiognotrace, in original gold metal frame 8.0 cm diameter tondo

Gilles-Louis Chrétien (French, 1754-1811)

Edme Quenedey, circa 1800

Physiognotrace, in original gold metal frame

8.0 cm diameter tondo

 

Gilles-Louis Chrétien invented the physiognotrace in 1787. Edme Quenedey was his first business partner. The physiognotrace is a mechanical technique using an eyepiece connected to a pantograph to transfer silhouette drawings to engraving plates thus enabling the production of multiple copies in a short time. As such, these machine images satisfied the growing desire for inexpensive portraits and were precursors of the photographic negative.

Gabriel Cromer was a wealthy collector whose collection formed the basis of the George Eastman House photography collection. All annotations are in his hand.

Inquire
NADAR (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) and Adrien TOURNACHON (French, 1820-1910 and 1825-1903) Pierrot with fruit, 1854-1855 Gelatin coated salt print 28.0 x 20.9 cm

NADAR (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon) and Adrien Tournachon

(French, 1820-1910 and 1825-1903)

Pierrot with fruit, 1854-1855

Gelatin coated salt print (vernis-cuir), 28.0 x 20.9 cm

 

According to Maria Morris Hambourg:

“Anything can happen in the magical world of the fairy pantomime. In answer to Pierrot's supplication, a basket of fruit materializes between his hands, a gift from heaven that strikes him with delight…

Although Nadar could have provided Deburau with any type of food—sausage, wine, a sumptuos cake—he opted for fruit, the first answer to a primitive man's appetite. The sensuous luxury of enjoying choice fruits hors saison (out of season) was also a Parisian passion. The wildest desires of the most demanding epicures were satisfied by Couturier, the elegant fruitier at 38, boulevard des Italiens, diagonally across the street from Nadar's studio. The suite of Pierrot pictures that Nadar devised was intended as a novelty to draw customers from the crowds strolling the boulevard. Had it been displayed, as he planned, in a sidewalk vitrine, this photograph would have charmed the knowing flâneur. Pierrot’s satisfying dream-come-true is no stage artifice but a real-life extravagance from Couturier, who, like the artiste-photographe and the mime, knew the value of a little well-paced publicity. To share in the feast one might visit the emporium across the way, the studio on the roof, or, of course, the Funambules.”

Lewis CARROLL (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) (English, 1832-1898) Alice Liddell and fern, Christ Church deanery garden, Oxford, 1860 Hand-colored albumen print 14.9 x 14.1 cm

Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) (English, 1832-1898)

Alice Liddell and fern, Christ Church deanery garden, Oxford, 1860

Hand-colored albumen print

14.9 x 14.1 cm (13.8 x 10.7 cm visible inside oval mat)

 

Lewis Carroll had this presentation print specially hand-colored as a gift to Alice.

Carroll had made an ink drawing of Alice as an end-piece on page 90 of his manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground. Evidently dissatisfied with the result, which failed to capture the spirit of his child muse, he took a print of the present image, trimmed it down to an oval head-and shoulders and pasted it over the drawing. This particular portrait thus acquired a very special place among the many studies that the photographer had made of his ideal child friend. No portrait of Alice could be more closely associated with the texts that bear her name.

"It is evident," wrote Alice in later years, "that Mr. Dodgson was far in advance of his time in the art of photography and of posing his subjects."

Eight prints of this image are recorded. These comprise: five prints in the Liddell family collection; two prints in the M. L. Parrish collection, Princeton University; and the print in the original Alice manuscript, now in the British Library. — Edward Wakeling, 2001

William Henry Fox TALBOT (English, 1800-1877) Bust of Patroclus, 1842 Salt print from a calotype negative 13.0 x 12.8 cm on 23.0 x 18.8 cm paper

William Henry Fox Talbot (English, 1800-1877)

Bust of Patroclus, 1842

Salt print from a calotype negative

13.0 x 12.8 cm on 23.0 x 18.8 cm paper

 

Patroclus, the defender of Achilles, was Talbot's first and favorite portrait sitter. The plaster cast he had at Lacock Abbey was a copy of the marble in the British Museum. Talbot's chemistry required lengthy exposures, and a stationary object, such as this bust, was the ideal subject. The brush strokes around the border of this exceptional print indicate that Talbot coated the sheet of paper by hand.

Printed from the same negative as Plate V in The Pencil of Nature.

Benjamin Brecknell TURNER (English, 1815-1894) Bust of Dionysus, early 1850s Calotype negative, waxed 21.5 x 19.0 cm

Benjamin Brecknell Turner (English, 1815-1894)

Bust of Dionysus, early 1850s

Calotype negative, waxed

21.5 x 19.0 cm

 

Dionysus, the Greek god of wine and the patron of theater, is perhaps better known by his Roman name of Bacchus. The cast in this photograph is after the head of Dionysus in the Capitoline Museum, Rome. Traces of small paper tabs attached indicate that the negative was temporarily attached to the glass in the printing frame-the tabs kept the negative in one position while the progress of the print was being examined.

Eugène ATGET (French, 1857-1927) "Rue Asselin 19e, La Villette", 1924-1925 Matte albumen print, negative no. 47 22.5 x 17.9 cm

Eugène Atget (French, 1857-1927)

"Rue Asselin 19e, La Villette," 1924-1925

Matte albumen print, negative no. 47

22.5 x 17.9 cm

 

Atget made the first of his prostitute pictures in 1921. They represent a very small segment of his entire oeuvre. He did not photograph the prostitutes at work as he did other working folks. As a result, this tiny group of pictures are perhaps the only examples of Atget’s work considered true portraits. John Szarkowski remarked that “If one visited every central casting agency on earth to fine the perfect models for a picture of three madams (or a madam and two workers) weighing business prospects, one would never find these three.”

Julia Margaret CAMERON (English, born in India, 1815-1879) "Hypatia, Marie Spartali"*, 1867 or 1868 Albumen print from a wet collodion negative 31.9 x 24.8 cm

Julia Margaret Cameron (English, born in India, 1815-1879)

"Hypatia, Marie Spartali," 1867 or 1868

Albumen print from a wet collodion negative

31.9 x 24.8 cm

 

The model here presents a very different appearance from many of Cameron's other milkmaids and daughters of friends, perhaps because she herself was an artists' model and an accomplished watercolorist. Marie Euphrosyne Spartali (1843-1927) was the daughter of the Greek consul in London. A pupil of the Pre-Raphaelite painter Ford Madox Brown, she first exhibited at the Dudley Gallery and in 1867, about the time of this photograph, she was admitted into the Royal Academy. Spartali married the American painter and photographer William James Stillman (1828-1901) in 1871. Before posing for Cameron, she had modeled for Dante Gabriel Rossetti, Ford Madox Brown and for Edward Burne-Jones.

Gjon MILI (Albanian, 1904-1984) "Pablo Picasso making a space drawing" of a bull, 1949 Gelatin silver print 33.6 x 26.6 cm

Gjon Mili (Albanian, 1904-1984)

"Pablo Picasso making a space drawing" of a bull, 1949

Gelatin silver print

33.6 x 26.6 cm

 

Mili immigrated to the US from Albania in 1923. Upon graduating from MIT he worked in lighting research at Westinghouse until 1938. As Harold Edgerton and his MIT colleagues refined their experimental electronic flash systems in 1937, it was Mili who informed them how these systems performed in the field, passing on technical information to them. The beginning of Mili's career as a freelance photographer for Life magazine in 1939 until his death forty-five years later, coincided with his specializing in stroboscopic and stop-action photographs. A major retrospective of Mili's work was held at the International Center of Photography in 1980.

Giacomo CANEVA (Italian, 1813-1865) Girl with vase, Rome, 1850s Coated salt or albumen print from a collodion negative 18.8 x 9.3 cm

Giacomo Caneva (Italian, 1813-1865)

Girl with vase, Rome, 1850s

Coated salt or albumen print from a collodion negative

18.8 x 9.3 cm

 

Caneva was a Roman painter who took up photography.  He was the inspiration behind, and a founder of, the Caffe Greco School of painting and photography in Rome, where its members gathered at the base of the Spanish steps. Caneva's embrace of photography, first the daguerreotype and then the negative process, was a natural outgrowth of his training as a painter of perspective scenes. He was the first photographer working in nineteenth-century Rome to make genre scenes with peasants as a principle subject.

David Octavius HILL & Robert ADAMSON (Scottish, 1802-1870 & 1821-1848) Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton, Newhaven, "They were twa bonnie lasses", circa 1845 Salt print from a calotype negative 19.0 x 13.6 cm

David Octavius Hill & Robert Adamson (Scottish, 1802-1870 & 1821-1848)

Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton, Newhaven, "They were twa bonnie lasses", circa 1845

Salt print from a calotype negative

19.0 x 13.6 cm

 

Among the earliest photographers to exploit both the artistic and documentary potential of the portrait, D. O. Hill & Robert Adamson made a survey of contemporary life in the picturesque fishing village of Newhaven, just outside Edinburgh.  In Jeanie Wilson and Annie Linton, an 1845 salt print from a calotype negative in the series, the photographers saw that the true character and beauty of the fishwives was intimately connected to their way of life and the precarious nature of their ties to the hard-working fishermen, often absent at sea. The traditional dress of the fisherwomen lends itself particularly well to the calotype medium. Hill & Adamson’s skillful deployment of light and shade and their positioning of the sitters is a fine example of early portraiture and a sought after example of their work.

Gilles-Louis CHRÉTIEN (French, 1754-1811) Edme Quenedey, circa 1800 Physiognotrace, in original gold metal frame 8.0 cm diameter tondo

Gilles-Louis Chrétien (French, 1754-1811)

Edme Quenedey, circa 1800

Physiognotrace, in original gold metal frame

8.0 cm diameter tondo

 

Gilles-Louis Chrétien invented the physiognotrace in 1787. Edme Quenedey was his first business partner. The physiognotrace is a mechanical technique using an eyepiece connected to a pantograph to transfer silhouette drawings to engraving plates thus enabling the production of multiple copies in a short time. As such, these machine images satisfied the growing desire for inexpensive portraits and were precursors of the photographic negative.

Gabriel Cromer was a wealthy collector whose collection formed the basis of the George Eastman House photography collection. All annotations are in his hand.

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