Platemark: 20.5 x 15 cm (8 1/16 x 5 7/8 in.); Matted: 55.9 x 45.7 cm (22 x 18 in.)
Leonard C. Hanna, Jr. Fund 1997.56
Many of the best early photographers were artists who put their training in figural arrangement, light and shadow, and composition to good use in the new medium. Dolard, a portrait painter, may have offered photographs to prospective clients of lesser means. In this image, possibly made as an advertisement for his studio, he identifies himself as a painter, surrounded by the tools of the trade. The coat and the hookah suggest an interest in orientalism, a fashion that occupied many mid-19th-century artists. A remarkable technical achievement, this whole-plate image required Dolard to remain motionless for well over a minute, at least 30 times longer than the exposure for the smaller plates in the case below.
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