Salted paper print from a paper negative
Image: 20.8 x 15.9 cm (8 3/16 x 6 1/4 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.)
Gift of Susan Herzig and Paul Hertzmann, in memory of Robert P. Bergman 1999.272
This portrait of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), one of the most admired painters in France at the time the image was made, is an early example of celebrity photography. Made by Victor Laisné, this print exemplifies his ambitious attempts at commercial paper negative portraiture. Unembellished and direct, the composition portrays Ingres in profile, revealing the upper three-quarters of his figure. Little is known about Laisné and his brief photographic career in the early 1850s. He contributed a number of images of noted artists to an ambitious project-Théophile Silvestre's Portraits des artistes vivants et reproductions de leurs principaux ouvrages par la photographie [Portraits of living artists and reproduction of their principal works through photography](1853).
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