28 January 2008

Lewis Carrol

Ambrotype photograph by Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) from July 21, 1865 depicting Effie Gray Millais, John Everett Millais, and their daughters Effie and Mary at 7 Cromwell Place, signed by Effie Millais.

"Alexandra 'Xie' Rhoda Kitchin (September 29, 1864-April 6, 1925) was the favourite photographic subject of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), who photographed her around fifty times, from age four until just before her sixteenth birthday. She was also a notable 'child-friend' of Dodgson. The works they made together, often in tableau form, are commonly known to collectors, curators, and the contemporary artists who are inspired by them as the 'Xie' (pronounced 'Ecksy' - a diminutive form of Alexandra) pictures."

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexandra_Kitchin

Alice Liddell and her sisters, c.1859

Photo of Alice Liddell by Lewis Carroll. (1858)

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lewis_Carroll#The_Photographer

André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri and the business of photography

André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (French, 1819–1889)
Prince Lobkowitz, 1858
Albumen silver print from glass negative; 7 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (20 x 23.2 cm)
image source: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/infp/ho_1995.170.1.htm

André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri
The Organ Grinder

c. 1853 ,
salt print 5 7/8 x 4 3/4 in.

Pierre-Louis Pierson

Early Photography: Between Historical Documentation and Fictional Narrative

Re-enactment of the October 16, 1846 ether operation; daguerrotype by Southworth & Hawes.

22 January 2008

David Octavius Hill

Newhaven fishwives
by Hill & Adamson

David Octavius Hill standing at the gate to his studio
calotype by Hill & Adamson.

David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and Robert Adamson (1821–1848)
Redding the Line (Portrait of James Linton), c. 1846
Scotish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh
image source: http://www.kiberpipa.org/gallery/album82/David_Octavius_Hill_and_Robert_Adamson_Baiting_the_Line_1845.jpg

David Octavius Hill (1802–1870) and Robert Adamson (1821–1848)
"Photograph from the frontispiece of an album dated 1848,
showing D O Hill sketching in Greyfriars Kirkyard, watched by the Misses Morris.
Other tableaux in the same setting included The Artist and The Gravedigger"
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Octavius_Hill

"Many of Hill's portraits were made in the Edinburgh Greyfriars cemetery - nothing is more characteristic of this early period than the way his subjects were at home there. And indeed the cemetery itself, in one of Hill's picture, looks like an interior, a separated closed-off space where the gravestones propped against gable walls rise up from the grass, hollowed out like chimney pieces, with inscriptions inside instead of flames. But this setting could never have been so effective if it had not been chosen on technical grounds. The low light-sensitivity of early plates made prolonged exposure outdoors a necessity. This in turn made it desirable to take the subject to some out-of-the-way spot where there was no obstacle to quiet concentration."
Walter Benjamin - A Small History of Photography

The Disruption Painting

The Disruption painting shows the signing of the Act of Separation and Deed of Demission by members of the Church of Scotland and the creation of the Free Church of Scotland. Around 1,500 people attended the signing of the Act of Separation. Hill entered into partnership with Robert Adamson in 1843 to produce calotypes of individual ministers, to be used for this painting. There are 457 figures in the painting , including a few who were not present at the ceremony. Robert Adamson is included in the picture with his camera.

21 January 2008

Julia Margaret Cameron

Julia Margaret Cameron
My Favorite Picture of All My Works.
My Niece Julia
April 1867


Julia Margaret Cameron (1815 – 1879)
J.F.W. Herschel

source: http://www.masters-of-photography.com/C/cameron/cameron_herschel_full.html

Pomona 1872

The Rosebud Garden 1868

Pre-Raphaelite study 1870

Queen Esther before King Ahasuerus 1865

source: http://www.victoriaspast.com/JuiliaMCameron/juliacameron.htm

Rossetti, Beata Beatrice, 1863, Tate Gallery

Rossetti, Boca Bacciata, 1859


Nadar - “Panthéon Nadar“, lithography, 1853
source: http://home.tele2.fr/thdelamotte/photo_references/nadar/img/pantheon_nadar.jpg

Nadar (Gaspard-Félix Tournachon , 1820 – 1910) - Self Portrait, 1855
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Nadar_selfportrait.jpg

"NADAR élevant la Photographie à la hauteur de l'Art"
(NADAR elevating Photography to the high level of Art).
Lithograph by Honore Daumier, Le Boulevard, 1862.
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:DR3248_13.jpg

Baudelaire photographié par Nadar, 1854
Musée d'Orsay

Nadar - Sarah Bernhardt 1859

source: http://faculty.evansville.edu/rl29/art105/sp04/art105-8.html

Nadar - George Sand c.1864

Nadar - Rossini 1856

Nadar - one of his first aerial photos of Paris, 1858

source: http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/~jeff/115a/jack_slides/nadar1858firstaerialphotoofparis.jpg

Nadar by Nadar 1858

source: Google-LIFE

Nadar: The right to flight

source: Gallica BNF

A Nadar photo of Santos-Dumont in one of his (heavier-than-air) aeroplane designs

source: http://www.uh.edu/engines/epi1967.htm

Nadar - Sewers of Paris series 1861-62

Photo interview of Chevreul by Nadar

source: http://hdelboy.club.fr/Chevreul.html#VI._Sur_le_reportage_photographique_de

Michel EugèneChevreul, was a scientist and the author of De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs et de l'assortiment des objets colorés. - translated into English by Charles Martel as The principles of harmony and contrast of colours (1854) a book that influenced the development of painting in France from Impressionism to Neo-impressionism.

link: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/nadr/hd_nadr.htm

16 January 2008

Giphantie: the prophecy of photography (and film, tv, video, webcams...)

According to M. W. Marien (Photography, A Cultural History), prior to 1800, in utopian and speculative fiction there is only one example of imaginative anticipation of photography and film: the novel Giphantie by CHARLES-FRANCOIS TIPHAIGNE DE LA ROCHE (1722 - 1774), published in 1760.

“You know, that rays of light reflected from different bodies form pictures, paint the image reflected on all polished surfaces, for example, on the retina of the eye, on water, and on glass. The spirits have sought to fix these fleeting images; they have made a subtle matter by means of which a picture is formed in the twinkling of an eye. They coat a piece of canvas with this matter, and place it in front of the object to be taken. The first effect of this cloth is similar to that of a mirror, but by means of its viscous nature the prepared canvas, as is not the case with the mirror, retains a fac-simile of the image. The mirror represents images faithfully, but retains none; our canvas reflects them no less faithfully, but retains them all. This impression of the image is instantaneous. The canvas is then removed and deposited in a dark place. An hour later the impression is dry, and you have a picture the more precious in that no art can imitate its truthfulness.”

(excerpt of Giphantie from: http://www.precinemahistory.net/1750.htm )

On the two pages above, the transmission of images from different points of the earth to a mirror by means of "portions of air in the atmosphere reserved by the spirits for this task" anticipates television and also the contemporary global web cams.

The original work is available in the site Gallica BNF