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Tuesday, 9 July 2019
Friday, 19 April 2019
|Charles Nègre à Notre-Dame de Paris, 1853,|
épreuve sur papier salé à partir d’un négatif papier ciré
sec, Paris, Bibliothèque des arts décoratifs, Médiathèque de
l’architecture & du patrimoine.
Here, the atmosphere is completely different.This last photography taken by Le Secq, can bring a
parallel to the work done with the Stryge.
Charles Nègre is hidden in the shadows and is
only visible for his white collar. This gives a disturbing feeling
and remind us of Victor Hugo Notre-Dame de Paris published
twenty years before. If this photography is interesting by the
production, it does not capture the observer by its work of geometry,
but reminds us of Charles Nègre work on street photography.
Henri Le Secq
was a French painter and photographer. After the French government made the daguerreotype open for public in 1839, Le Secq was one of the five photographers selected to carry out a photographic survey of architecture (Commission des Monuments Historiques)
He experimented with various photograph processing techniques together with his colleague Charles Nègre and later worked with Gustave Le Gray learning the waxed-paper negative process. This process had the advantage that it produced negatives unlike the daguerreotype process. He, along with Hippolyte Bayard, Edouard Baldus, Gustave Le Grayand Auguste Mestral (O. Mestral), was sent on Missions Héliographiques to document famous architectural monuments in France.
He worked mainly on cathedrals in Chartres, Strasbourg, Reims and near Paris. Cameras capable of taking large photographs, sized up to 51 cm by 74 cm, were used. His works during this Commission des Monuments Historiques are considered his finest.
In 1851 he became one of the founders of the first photographic organization of the world, the Société héliographique (1851–1853), which was very short lived
In 1851, the Commission des Monuments Historiques, an agency of the French government, selected five photographers to make photographic surveys of the nation’s architectural patrimony. These Missions Héliographiques, as they were called, were intended to aid the Paris-based commission in determining the nature and urgency of the preservation and restoration of work required at historic sites throughout France. The French rail network was still in its infancy and many of the commissioners had never visited the monuments in their care; photography promised a record of such sites that would be produced more quickly and accurately than the architectural drawings on which they had previously relied.
Gustave Le Gray, already recognized as a leading figure on both the technical and artistic fronts of French photography, was sent southwest, to the famed châteaux of the Loire Valley—Blois, Chambord, Amboise, and Chenonceaux, among others—to the small towns and
Henri Le Secq was sent north and east to the great
This first act of government patronage of the new art was heralded in the pages of La Lumière, the official organ of the Société Héliographique, with an announcement in the June 29 issue, and the itineraries were published in its pages soon after. The five photographers carried out their missions in the summer and fall of 1851, returning to Paris with portfolios of prints and negatives to show their fellow practitioners. Hopes were high as they handed in 258 photographs to the government, but disappointment followed. Critic Francis Wey lamented that when the photographers completed their missions, the Commission des Monuments Historiques “congratulated them, received their negatives and locked them in a drawer, neither authorizing nor even tolerating their publication. The public is thus deprived of these prints…; the photographers are denied the publicity they hoped for, and our country fails to do justice to the most beautiful work yet produced.”
Today, the bulk of the negatives (excepting Bayard’s) are on deposit at the Musée d’Orsay, Paris, and numerous prints survive in the archives descended from the Commission des Monuments Historiques. Mission Héliographique prints by Baldus, Bayard, and Le Secq are exceedingly rare, while the somewhat greater presence of prints from Le Gray’s and Mestral’s missions suggests that these photographers may have made two sets of negatives—one for the government, and one for themselves.
Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
|Vue de la Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris,|
(1853), épreuve sur papier salé d’après un négatif papier,
24,5X33 cm, Collection privée.
This photography shows us the Cathedral in the time
where the pediments of the facade were under construction according
to the Violet-le-Duc plans. It is a testimony of the building
renovation as we know it.
Charles Nègre choice of framing required a certain
preparation. He positioned himself at a higher point, certainly acceding to a balcony in order to take this picture.
The photography doesn’t lack of depth and we can see on both sides, the city of Paris
expanding over the horizon. Once again, there is a strong contrast
between the sky, alway burned, and the darkness of the lower part of
the image. As if the cathedral were rising towards the light.
Charles Nègre controls both the framing and the contrast in order to
translate the monumental aspect of this cathedral.
Yet, this frontal image doesn’t show the depth of the monument and makes it seem as if
it was a stage setting.
It may seem anachronistic to present Charles Nègre as a social photographer, as social photography, investigation photography and communication photography on social problems will only be known at the end of the 19 century. Nevertheless, his approach of photography and the ameliorations that he will bring to the photographic
technique, make him without a doubt one of the founding fathers of this
Born in May, 9 1820 in
the French city of Grasse, he takes drawing lessons at Aix-en-Provence in 1937.
He is accepted at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1939, at the same
time that Louis Daguerre presented to the public his invention, inspired on
Niepce’s work. He works in Paul Delaroche studio and presents his work to
different parisian salons until 1953. He will also study under
the direction of Ingres and Drolling before opening his first studio at 21 Quai
Bourbon, on the Saint-Louis Island in Paris.
He starts to work with the new
medium that is photography in 1844 encouraged by his master Paul Delaroche. He
realizes daguerreotypes that he will use as a source of inspiration and a model
for the realization of his paintings. In 1848 he spends a few months in
Barbizon along with other artists and works in portraits and nudes. The
photography takes a more and more important place in his artistic creations.
Charles Nègre works with different
photographic techniques invented in his time and contributes to the
amelioration of Niepce technique of photogravure using a passage to a gold bath
(demasquinure heliographic), an innovation allowing to reunite the fineness and
precision of photography and the firmness and depth using engraving tints. He
will be rewarded during the Universal Exposition in Paris in 1867 for this
Monday, 4 February 2019
|Elegant family 19th century cabinet card photograph.|
Friday, 28 December 2018
Thursday, 29 November 2018
Tintypes, originally known as or ferrotypes or melainotypes, were invented in the 1850s and continued to be produced into the 20th century.
The photographic emulsion was applied directly to a thin sheet of iron coated with a dark lacquer or enamel, which produced a unique positive image. Like the ambrotype, tintypes were often hand-colored. Customers purchased cases, frames, or paper envelopes to protect and display their images.
Tintypes and ambrotypes found in cases and frames can be difficult to identify.
A magnet will be attracted to the iron support, but if a sheet of metal is used behind an ambrotype, one could be fooled into thinking that the image is a tintype.
A hand-coloured Ambrotype Tintype and Daguerrotype portrait of a woman, taken by an unknown photographer in about 1845. The colour has been rather liberally applied to her cheeks, making her look as if she is blushing.
An ambrotype is comprised of an underexposed glass negative placed against a dark background.
The dark backing material creates a positive image. Photographers often applied pigments to the surface of the plate to add color, often tinting cheeks and lips red and adding gold highlights to jewelry, buttons, and belt buckles.
Ambrotypes were sold in either cases or ornate frames to provide an attractive product and also to protect the negative with a cover glass and brass mat.