Henri Le Secq was one of the most gifted early photographers to record architecture and sculpture. This stunning image is from a small, rare group of photographs of the collection of Alexis-Joseph Depaulis (1792–1867), a French engraver and collector of historic paintings, drawings, prints, and sculptures, as well as casts of ancient and modern objects. The depicted work is a plaster cast made from an early 19th-century neoclassical funerary sculpture created by an uniden-tified artist, probably French. Le Secq's exceptional talent for capturing the broad effects of light and shadow animates the figures in this complex sculpture, giving them physical presence. Indeed, the shadows are deep and diffused because of the texture of the paper negative and the lengthy exposure time.
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