Skip to main content

Daguerreotype of the Acropolis by Jean Baptiste Louis Gros




Baron Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros (French, 1793–1870)
View of the East Facade of the Propylaea on the Acropolis, Athens, May–June, 1850
Daguerreotype; 14.9 x 20 cm (5 7/8 x 7 7/8 in.)
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal


From the exhibition The Dawn of Photography: French Daguerreotypes, 1839–1855
September 23, 2003–January 4, 2004
Drawings, Prints, and Photographs Galleries, The Howard Gilman Gallery, 2nd floor
Metropolitan Museum, New York

image link

Comments

When I saw this plate at the French Daguerreotype show at the Met I was blown away. It was one of the most beautiful plates I had ever seen. There was no hand applied color yet the plate had appropriate coloration. The sky was blue but the ground appeared almost brownish instead of silver. I could not take my eyes off of it. This plate is incredible!

Popular posts from this blog

Group f/64 Manifesto (1932)

Ansel Adams by Dorothea Lange



Group f/64 Manifesto
The name of this Group is derived from a diaphragm number of the photographic lens. It signifies to a large extent the qualities of clearness and definition of the photographic image which is an important element in the work of members of this Group.
The chief object of the Group is to present in frequent shows what it considers the best contemporary photography of the West; in addition to the showing of the work of its members, it will include prints from other photographers who evidence tendencies in their work similar to that of the Group.
Group f/64 is not pretending to cover the entire of photography or to indicate through its selection of members any deprecating opinion of the photographers who are not included in its shows. There are great number of serious workers in photography whose style and technique does not relate to the metier of the Group.
Group f/64 limits its members and invitational names to those workers who are strivin…

Alexander Gardner (1821-1882)

Alexander Gardner
The home of a Rebel Sharpshooter, Gettysburg
(1863)









Alexander Gardner Dead Confederate sharpshooter at the foot of Round Top.  Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 1863. Alexander Gardner.
Richmond, Virginia. "Ruins of Gallego Mills." April 1865






The Lincoln Conspirators, 1865











Alexander Gardner, Lincoln 1865



The Daguerreotype portrait: the aesthetics of the real

The notion of what we may call an “artless art” was applied at different times, and with different intentions, to photography and the Daguerreotype. The image produced “directly” by nature, bypassing the intervention of the hand of the artist, was the object of amazement at first, and praised for its astounding fidelity of detail: an “art form” therefore that “no painter could ever match”. 
The popularization of the daguerreotype as the 19th century progressed, brought about by technical improvements allowing for the mass production of images and specially, for the first time, the mass production of portraits, produced also as a counter-current, a kind of  “over familiarity” with the daguerreotype portrait. And with it, a relative weariness about the repetitious, the unstudied, the narrowly documentary and "vulgar" or commonplace qualities (issues only partially explained by inherent  limitations of the Daguerreotype technique for portraiture, such as exposure time requiremen…