Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre

Photograph

Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre

1844
Daguerreotype
Image: 3 9/16 × 2 11/16 in. (9.1 × 6.9 cm) [1/4 plate]
Mount: 6 3/4 × 5 3/8 in. (17.2 × 13.6 cm)
Frame: 10 1/16 × 8 11/16 × 1 in. (25.5 × 22 × 2.6 cm)
Gift of Eastman Kodak Company, ex-collection Gabriel Cromer
1976.0168.0043
Inscriptions Inscribed on mat in ink, recto, BR: Sabatier-Blot, Palais-Royal, 137.

Inscribed on backing paper in ink (Sabatier-Blot's hand), verso, TC: Daguerre. \ Ce portrait a été fait \ par Sabatier-Blot, \ Son ami, en 1844 \ ____

Inscribed and signed on backing paper in ink (Mme. Libert's hand) on verso, BR: Ecriture de mon \ grand-père Jean-Baptiste \ Sabatier-Blot \ Libert [signature] \ née Laisné [Cromer's hand]

Inscribed on applied label in ink (Cromer's hand) on verso, C: Collection photographique \ de Gab. Cromer. \ Rarissime portrait \ de Daguerre [underlined] \ au daguerreotype.

Inscribed on backing paper in ink (Cromer's hand) on verso, RC: Acquis de la petite-fille de Sabatier-Blot, \ Mme Libert [?], fille de \ Victor Laisné, photographe, \ marié à la fille de Sabatier-Blot, fille \ dont j'ai tous les portraits de jeunesse \ pris au daguerréotype par son père.

Inscribed on binding and backing paper in ink (Cromer's hand) on verso, LC: Original reproduit en héliogravure (tête seulement) par le "Comité \ Daguerre" pour le monument de Cormeilles-en-Paris en 1883; - \ probablement le plus ancien portrait de Daguerre \ au daguerreotype, sur plaque du début, épaisse et non- \ biseautée; en tout cas son seul portrait daté; Daguerre \ avait 57 ans.

Inscribed on binding paper in ink (Cromer's hand) on verso, TC: Original également de l'émail de Mathieu-Desroches \ existant à la Société Française de Photographie.

Inscribed on binding paper in pencil, verso, BLC: 10D-1
Label TextThis is the earliest of eight known portraits of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, who in collaboration with Nicéphore Niépce (1765–1833), invented the first publicly available photographic process. When in January 1839 the French Academy of Arts and Sciences announced the details of the invention, dubbed the “daguerreotype,” photography became an instant sensation. Now ordinary middle-class people could obtain likenesses of family and friends for less money and in less time than a traditional portrait painting would have required. A craze for daguerreotypes spread throughout the world and led to rapid technical improvements. The 1839 announcement also prompted William Henry Fox Talbot (British, 1800–1877) to make his photographic experiments known, but unlike the daguerreotype, commercially practicing Talbot’s photographic process (a negative-positive procedure on paper) required licensing a patent. As a result, the daguerreotype was the dominant photographic process until the 1850s and 60s.

For his part, Daguerre, whom the government had awarded a lifetime pension for his contribution to science and culture, retired to Bry-sur-Marne in the eastern suburbs of Paris shortly after his invention was made public. He remained there until his death, seven years after this photograph was created by his friend Jean-Baptiste Sabatier-Blot, a renowned miniature painter and daguerreotypist in Paris.

Lisa Hostetler
Curator in Charge, Department of Photography
Label for A History of Photography [Rotation 1]
May 9–September 28, 2014
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