12 January 2008

Background to the daguerreotype

Daguerre, Atelier, 1837, daguerreotype

Born in 1787, Daguerre was apprenticed to an architect in his hometown of Corneilles-en-Parisis. In 1804 in Paris, he served in the studio of Degotti, a stage designer, and later assisted the painter of panoramas Prevost. Daguerre attained the post of stage designer at the Opera around 1819. He conceived and built the Diorama around 1822, offering staged illusionist entertainment that combined realistic painting and moving light effects. The constant use of the camera obscura to create his large scale paintings led to the idea of fixing the images of the optical apparatus and to his collaboration with Niepce that would result, after the dead of his collaborator and creator of the first photograph, in the invention of the daguerreotype.

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