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Mosaique: The Imperial Court of Napoleon III

Mosaique: The Imperial Court of Napoleon III

c. 1866

Albumen print, carte-de-visite

Image: 9.1 x 5.6 cm (3 9/16 x 2 3/16 in.); Paper: 9.1 x 5.6 cm (3 9/16 x 2 3/16 in.); Mounted: 10.5 x 6.1 cm (4 1/8 x 2 3/8 in.)

Gift of Barbara Tannenbaum and Mark Soppeland 2019.69

Fun Fact

Disdéri bragged that the mosaique could offer a picture of “from two or three persons up to a thousand for the same price” as a photograph of one individual.

Description

The mosaic cards offered visual catalogues of the luminaries of a profession or social group in a single photograph. Here the emperor, his wife, and son top a pyramid of statesmen, soldiers, artists, writers, and others affiliated with the imperial court. This image was produced by cutting hundreds of figures photographed by Disdéri away from their backgrounds, mounting the likenesses on a single sheet, photographing that collage, and printing it on 6 x 9 cm cards.

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