Photography

La Lecture [Reading]
Olympe Aguado
Reading

Olympe Aguado's career as a photographer was devoted mainly to reproductions of paintings or 'studies from nature', mostly landscapes and photographs of...
Photographie spirite (médium et spectres) [Spiritualist Photography (Medium and Ghosts)]
Anonymous
Spiritualist Photography

Spiritualist photography, catching the imprint of the "fluid atmosphere vibrating around the edges of a person like the outward signs of his inner, personal...
Claude Monet devant sa maison de Giverny [Claude Monet in front of his House at Giverny]
Anonymous
Claude Monet at Giverny

This photograph was taken in spring in 1921 for the magazine L'Illustration. The Musée d'Orsay owns two other autochromes taken on the same occasion, The...
Portrait postmortem d'une femme âgée [A Postmortem Portrait of an Elderly Woman]
Anonymous
A Postmortem Portrait of an Elderly Woman

"The artist will go to the homes of those who so wish and for postmortem portraits". This information, worded in various ways, was commonly found in...
Portrait de deux soeurs jumelles [Twin Sisters]
Anonymous
Twin Sisters

This full-plate daguerreotype is most unusual because of its size, its condition and its subject. The pose struck by the two young women, reminiscent of...
Une partie d'échecs [A Game of Chess]
Anonymous
A Game of Chess

The scene shown here is in no way a candid shot. Carefully composed for the camera, it evokes genre scenes in painting or one of the games that amused the...
André Berland, groom de l'hôtel du Palais d'Orsay [André Berland, bellboy at the Palais d'Orsay Hotel]
Anonymous
Bellboy at the Palais d'Orsay Hotel

Opened in 1900, the main lines at the Orsay Station were closed in 1939, but the adjoining 370 room hotel remained open until 1972. From the moment the...
Obsession 1
Anonyme
Obsession 1

As soon as photography on paper was invented, experiments in distorting the image appeared. Consequently, assembling several photographs in a collage became a...
Palais rose, résidence du comte de Montesquiou : la vasque [Pink Palace, residence of Count Robert de Montesquiou: basin]
Anonyme
Pink Palace

In 1906 Count Robert de Montesquiou-Fezensac (1855-1921) bought the Pink Palace in Le Vésinet, near Paris. This residence, clearly inspired by the Grand...
Bergère endormie [Sleeping Shepherdess]
Anonymous
Sleeping Shepherdess

The name of this photographer of rural scenes has not yet been discovered. He appears to have been published exclusively by Adolphe Giraudon, a specialist in...
Nu de dos dans un intérieur dit aussi Prostituée nue [Nude seen from behind in an Interior also known as Nude Prostitute]
Eugène Atget
Nude seen from behind in

In the work of Eugène Atget, the destination of the few rare female nudes that have come down to us still remains uncertain. Were they "documents for...
"L'esclave mourant", sculpture de Michel-Ange ["The Dying Slave", a sculpture by Michelangelo]
Edouard Baldus
The Dying Slave

In 1854, Edouard Baldus photographed The Dying Slave by Michelangelo, a sculpture created in 1513-1515 for the tomb of Pope Julius II. When it came into the...
Vue de la gare de Picquigny [View of Picquigny Station]
Edouard Baldus
View of Picquigny Station

In 1855, Queen Victoria came to France to attend the Universal Exhibition, and was escorted from Boulogne-sur-Mer to Paris by Emperor Napoleon III. It was the...
Personnages dans le parc du château de la Faloise [A Group of People in the grounds of the Château de la Faloise]
Edouard Baldus
A Group of People in the grounds of the Château de la Faloise

This image capturing a group of elegant people at leisure in the grounds of a county house tells us much about that era. Its harmonious composition attracted...
City of Atlanta, N°2
George Barnard
City of Atlanta, N°2

The American Civil War raged between April 1861 and April 1865. The conflict was between the Northern states, powerful, densely populated and moving towards...
Apothéose de Degas [The Apotheosis of Degas]
Walter Barnes
The Apotheosis of Degas

This famous image shows that Degas took an interest in photography some ten years before he practised the technique himself. It was taken in summer 1885, in...
Portail latéral de Notre-Dame [Side Portal of Notre Dame]
Eugène de Bassano
Side Portal of Notre Dame

In parallel with the invention of the daguerreotype in France, in the late 1830s, William Fox Talbot (1800-1877) perfected a photographic process on paper and...
Nature morte avec moulages [Still life with plaster casts]
Hippolyte Bayard
Still life with plaster casts

From very early on, Bayard, an official at the Ministry of Finance, took an interest in the development of photography. He invented a process for fixing...
Dessin photogénique : composition végétale [Photogenic drawing: plant composition]
Amelia Bergner
Photogenic drawing

The only known works by Amelia Bergner consist of a few floral and plant arrangements collected into an album from which this page originates. The method she...
Vue de la sentinelle du camp dans la nuit, Holzminden [View of the camp sentry at night, Holzminden]
André de Boudinhon
The camp sentry at night, Holzminden

In 1992, some eighty prints relating to a little-known episode in the First World War came into the Musée d'Orsay's collections. They evoke life in the camp...
The parting of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere
Julia Margaret Cameron
The parting of Sir Lancelot and Queen Guinevere

In 1874, the writer Alfred Lord Tennyson asked his friend and neighbour from the Isle of Wight, Julia Margaret Cameron, to illustrate one of his works with...
Femme nue debout de face [Nude woman, standing, front view]
François-Rupert Carabin
Nude woman, standing, front view

In the second half of the nineteenth century, artists frequently worked from photographs instead of live models. Common enough for painting, this practice...
Portrait du peintre Gustave Courbet [Portrait of the painter Gustave Courbet], 1860
Etienne Carjat
Gustave Courbet

In 1859, while Gustave Courbet was staying in Frankfurt with the German painter Victor Müller, he became acquainted with Etienne Carjat, who had been living...
Sculpture : fragment d'une tête [Sculpture: Fragment of a Head]
Charles Caron
Sculpture: Fragment of a Head

This photograph comes from a set comprising an album of eighteen salted paper or albumen prints of the monuments around Beauvais and sixty-three paper...
La rade de Toulon [The Toulon Roadstead]
Charles-Marie-Isidore Choiselat
The Toulon Roadstead

Charles-Marie-Isidore Choiselat and Stanislas Ratel showed a very early interest in Daguerre's invention. The two men were fascinated by chemistry and alchemy...
Famille prenant le thé au jardin [Family taking tea in the garden]
Etienne Clémentel
Family taking tea in the garden

A leading political figure who occupied a variety of ministerial posts between 1905 and 1931, Etienne Clémentel was a great lover of the arts, and of...
Nature morte au lièvre et gousses d'ail [Still Life with a Hare and Cloves of Garlic]
Eugène Cuvelier
Dead Hare with a String of Garlic

Eugène Cuvelier's father, Adalbert Cuvelier (1812-1871), himself an amateur photographer, set out in an article in the magazine La Lumière the qualities...
Arbre et rochers à Fontainebleau [Tree and rocks at Fontainebleau]
Eugène Cuvelier
Tree and rocks

Eugène Cuvelier, a painter by training, learned photography from his father, Adalbert Cuvelier. He discovered the Forest of Fontainebleau through Camille...
Portrait au miroir d'Henry Lerolle et ses deux filles, Yvonne et Christine [Portrait of Henry Lerolle with two of his daughters, Yvonne and Christine and a mirror]
Edgar Degas
Henry Lerolle with his daughters

The modernity of Degas's painted and sculpted work can also be found in his photographs as, from 1895 onwards, he started practising this technique for a...
Henri Rouart (1833-1912) chez lui [Henri Rouart (1833-1912) at home]
Edgar Degas
Henri Rouart (1833-1912) at home

Henri Rouart, Degas' long-time friend and fellow Louis-le-Grand student, is represented here in the interior of his Parisian home.Rouart, a Master Engineer,...
Hortense Howland
Edgar Degas
Hortense Howland

Hortense Howland (1835-1920), née Louise-Marie Delaroche-Laperrière, was the wife of a rich American, William Edgar Howland. She lived apart from her...
Autoportrait avec Yvonne et Christine Lerolle [Self-portrait with Yvonne and Christine Lerolle]
Edgar Degas
Self-portrait with Yvonne and Christine Lerolle

The photograph was taken at the home of the painter Henri Lerolle, a great friend of Degas. Degas himself can be seen in it, in the company of Lerolle's two...
La rue Royale après les incendies de la Commune, 24 mai 1871 [Rue Royale after the Fires of the Commune, 24 May 1871]
François-Joseph Delintraz
Rue Royale after the Fires of the Commune

"We walk through smoke; we breathe air that smells of charred wood and varnish, and on all sides we hear the hiss of pumps. In many places, there are...
Portrait de folle [Portrait of a Mad Woman]
Hugh Welch Diamond
Portrait of a Mad Woman

In the early 1850s, Doctor Hugh Diamond was director of the Surrey County Asylum, a psychiatric hospital for women. He was also passionate about photography,...
Portrait d'Ingres à la fenêtre [Portrait of Ingres at the Window]
Camille Dolard
Ingres at the Window

Camille Dolard was one of the many painters who practised photography when the medium had just been invented and was still very attractive. Having entered the...
Travaux de construction de la Tour Eiffel. Pile n° 4 le 18 juillet 1887 [Construction work on the Eiffel Tower. Pier nº 4,18 July 1887]
Louis-Emile Durandelle
Construction of the Eiffel Tower, 1887

The construction of the Eiffel Tower in the heart of Paris for the Universal Exhibition of 1889 would demonstrate how photography had become the favourite...
Marsh Weeds
Peter Henry Emerson
Marsh Weeds

This photograph was published in 1895 in the Marsh Leaves album. With its restricted depth of field, very high horizon and above all the marsh grasses poking...
L'illustrateur Aubrey Beardsley de profil, le menton dans les mains [Profile of the illustrator Aubrey Beardsley with his chin in his hands]
Frederick Evans
The illustrator Aubrey Beardsley

Frederick Evans, a friend of the writer George Bernard Shaw, was a librarian in London when he started to photograph shells through a microscope, fascinated...
In Deer Leap Woods, A Haunt of George Meredith
Frederick Evans
In Deer Leap Woods

The photographer who took this image, both in choice of subject and technique, follows in the tradition of the "primitive" photographers working around 1850....
Berger et son troupeau [Shepherd and his flock]
Constant Alexandre Famin
Shepherd and his flock

In 1881, the publishing house Giraudon presented its collection of images entitled "Rural scenes", destined for a clientele of "intellectuals and artists":...
L'Entente cordiale
Roger Fenton
L'Entente cordiale

On the 23 October 1853 the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia. Five months later France and England came into the war on the side of the Turks. Very...
La vallée de l'ombre de la Mort [The Valley of the Shadow of Death]
Roger Fenton
The Valley of the Shadow of Death

In his work as a photographer, Roger Fenton excelled in all genres: landscape, architectural views, reportage, portraits and even, on occasion, still life....
Photo-montage [Photomontage]
Lady Filmer
Photomontage

Lady Filmer, a member of Victorian "society" practised photomontage as art brut before the term was invented. She is known to have produced several albums...
Enterrement de M. le duc d'Orléans [The Burial of the Duke of Orleans]
Marc-Antoine Gaudin (Attributed to)
The Burial of the Duke of Orleans

During the July monarchy, Ferdinand, eldest son of Louis-Philippe, was a popular prince. Open to... and conscious of the position of the...
La Mer de Glace [The Sea of Ice]
Léon Gimpel
The Sea of Ice

In 1904, the Lumière brothers developed the first photographic process for reproducing colour: the autochrome. They thought of using tiny grains of potato...
Portrait d'Alexandre Dumas [Portrait of Alexandre Dumas]
Attributed to Alexis Gouin
Portrait of Alexandre Dumas

Alexis Gouin, a pupil of the painters Girodet and Jean-Baptiste Regnault, began a career as a miniaturist and from 1847 onwards logically turned towards...
Rector's
Paul Haviland
Rector's

It was in 1908, after meeting the leader of the American pictorialist movement Photo-Secession, Alfred Stieglitz (1864-1946), that Paul Haviland became a keen...
Victor Hugo dans le rocher des Proscrits [Victor Hugo on the Rock of the Exiles]
Charles Hugo
Victor Hugo on the Rock of the Exiles

Between 1852 and 1855, while in exile on Jersey, Victor Hugo developed a passion for photography. The writer had arrived on the Channel Island on 5 August...
Louis Dodier en prisonnier, 1847 [Louis Dodier as a prisoner, 1847]
Louis Adolphe Humbert de Molard
Louis Dodier as a prisoner, 1847

From a rich Parisian family, Baron Louis Adolphe Humbert de Molard was one of those wealthy amateurs who brought their talent and passion to early...
Maison de retraite de la Rochefoucauld, avenue René-Coty, Paris 14ème [La Rochefoucauld nursing home, avenue René-Coty, Paris 14e]
Louis Adolphe Humbert de Molard
La Rochefoucauld nursing home

A founding member of the French Photographic Society in 1854, Louis Adolphe Humbert de Molard had been exploring different photographic techniques since the...
Marguerite Khnopff, soeur de l'artiste, étude pour "Le secret" de 1902 [Marguerite Khnopff, the artist's sister, study for "The Secret" 1902]
Fernand Khnopff
Marguerite Khnopff

Throughout his life, the Belgian Symbolist painter Fernand Khnopff carefully concealed the role photography played in the creation of some of his paintings....
Tour Malakoff [The Malakoff Tower]
Jean-Charles Langlois
The Malakoff Tower

Napoleon III, captivated by Fenton's photographs shown at the 1855 Universal Exhibition held in Paris, decided he would send a team to the Crimea. The team of...
Etude d'après nature, Fontainebleau [Nature Study, Fontainebleau]
Attributed to Gustave Le Gray
Nature Study, Fontainebleau

Although it has no signature or stamp, this photograph can be attributed to Gustave Le Gray because of its format, tonality and provenance. It came from...
Salon de 1852, grand salon, mur nord (au centre : "Les demoiselles de village" de Gustave Courbet) [Salon of 1852, large north gallery (centre: "The Village Girls" by Gustave Courbet)]
Gustave Le Gray
Salon of 1852

In 1852, Philippe de Chennevières, an inspector of provincial museums and in charge of exhibitions by living artists, commissioned Le Gray to produce an...
Vue du Salon de 1853 [View of the 1853 Salon]
Gustave Le Gray
View of the 1853 Salon

This photograph gives an insight into early photography at the Salons in France. In 1852, Gustave Le Gray took several photographs at the exhibition organised...
Forêt de Fontainebleau, sous-bois au Bas-Bréau [Forest of Fontainebleau, undergrowth at Bas-Bréau]
Gustave Le Gray
Undergrowth at Bas-Bréau

After taking part, in the summer of 1851, in the Heliographic Mission - a commission from the committee for historic monuments to photograph the most...
Marine, étude de nuages [Seascape, study of clouds]
Gustave Le Gray
Seascape, study of clouds

"It was about time that art came to join in". With these words Nadar welcomed Gustave Le Gray's entry into photography in My Life as a Photographer, a work...
Ruisseau en forêt (Montmirail) [Forest Brook (Montmirail)]
Henri Le Secq
Forest Brook (Montmirail)

Henri Le Secq made his first experiments with photography on paper in 1848, with Gustave Le Gray whom he had met while they were studying painting together in...
France, troupeau de moutons près d'une mare  [France, flock of sheep near a pond]
Charles Augustin Lhermitte
Flock of sheep

Although Charles Augustin Lhermitte, an amateur photographer, took a great interest in the formal research of the Pictorialists, the Naturalism in the...
La tour Eiffel foudroyée [The Eiffel Tower hit by lightening]
Gabriel Loppé
The Eiffel Tower hit by lightening

Photographers' interest in the Eiffel Tower did not dry up on its completion. From the balcony of Gabriel Loppé's flat in avenue du Trocadéro, the monument...
Accident gare de l'Ouest le 22 octobre 1895 [Accident at the Gare de l'Ouest, 22 October 1895]
L. Mercier
Accident at the Gare de l'Ouest

On 22 October 1895, there was a particularly spectacular railway accident at the Gare de l'Ouest, later re-named the Gare Montparnasse. The 26 October issue...
Saut d'obstacle, cheval noir [Jumping a hurdle, black horse]
Eadweard Muybridge
Jumping a hurdle, black horse

In 1887, the Englishman Eadweard Muybridge brought out eleven volumes of photographs entitled Animal Locomotion. Each plate shows views of the same subject in...
Charles Baudelaire au fauteuil [Charles Baudelaire in an Armchair]
Félix Nadar
Charles Baudelaire in an Armchair

Nadar, a great portrait artist of the 1860's and an acute observer of the bohemian side of Parisian society, photographed the poet Charles Baudelaire...
La main du banquier D. (étude chirographique) tirée en une heure à la lumière électrique [The Hand of the Banker D. (chirographic study) printed in one hour with electric lighting]
Félix Nadar
The Hand of the Banker D.

The title of this photograph, he Hand of the Banker D. (chirographic study) printed in one hour with electric lighting was taken from the catalogue of the...
Pierrot photographe dit aussi Le mime Deburau avec un appareil photographique [Pierrot the photographer also called The mime Deburau with a camera]
Félix Nadar
Pierrot the photographer

In the autumn of 1854 or the winter of 1854-1855, Nadar, who had brought his young brother Adrien into his business, asked the mime Charles Deburau...
Jean-François Millet
Félix Nadar
Jean-François Millet

A photographer, journalist, critic and caricaturist, Nadar had published a caricature of Jean-François Millet on the 24 July 1852 in Le Journal pour rire,...
Le joueur d'orgue de barbarie et deux enfants [The Barrel Organ Player With Two Children Listening]
Charles Nègre
The Barrel Organ Player

Living in Paris from 1839, Charles Nègre joined first Delaroche's then Drolling's workshop, and finally Ingres's. Delaroche encouraged his pupils to learn...
"La Renommée chevauchant Pégase", sculpture d'Antoine Coysevox, place de la Concorde, à Paris [Fame riding Pagasus], a sculpture by Antoine Coysevox, place de la Concorde, Paris.
Charles Nègre
Fame riding Pagasus

"Gutenberg gave the world the ability to print inner thoughts; today, sire, you have the means, through heliography, to print the world outside." Through...
Paris, scène de marché au port de l'Hôtel de Ville [Paris, market scene at the port near the Hôtel de Ville]
Charles Nègre
Paris, market

It was in 1849 that Charles Nègre moved to the Ile Saint-Louis in Paris, to 21 quai de Bourbon. He would certainly not have been slow to explore the area,...
The Vampire
Charles Nègre
The Vampire

It was the great French collector, André Jammes, who chose to call this photograph The Vampire, in an analogy with a famous engraving by the painter...
Promenade au bord d'un lac, Italie [A walk along the lakeside, Italy]
Louis Philippe d'Orléans (duc)
A walk along the lakeside

Philippe, Duke of Orléans, has gone down in history above all for his return to France in 1890, when he confronted the laws of exile, which, since 1886, had...
Groupe d'artistes à Rome [Group of artists in Rome]
Philibert Perraud
Group of artists in Rome

We know that the photographer Philibert Perraud left France to move to Rome around 1844. There he produced several daguerreotypes featuring groups of young...
Ingres
Pierre Lanith Petit
Ingres

Apparently shortly after he opened his studio in Paris, in 1859, Pierre Petit began to compile a Gallery of the Men of the Day, which later became the Gallery...
Portrait d'Yvette Guilbert, avec reflet du photographe dans un miroir [Portrait of Yvette Guilbert, with the reflection of the photographer in a mirror]
Jules Richard
Portrait of Yvette Guilbert

The Parisian singer and fortune-teller Yvette Guilbert, immortalised by Toulouse-Lautrec, Degas, Steinlen, Cappiello and so many others, was photographed here...
La salle des Pas-perdus du Palais de Justice après les incendies de la Commune [The Hall of the Main Court Damaged by Fire during the Commune]
Pierre-Ambroise Richebourg
The Hall of the Main Court Damaged by Fire during the Commune

"We will set off from La Madeleine, turning our backs on its columns pockmarked with bullet holes, to enter the Rue Royale where the damage is much greater."...
Vue intérieure du pavillon chinois de l'impératrice à Fontainebleau, vue d'ensemble [View of the interior of the Empress' Chinese pavilion at Fontainebleau, overall view]
Pierre-Ambroise Richebourg
View of the interior of the Empress' Chinese pavilion

In 1863, Empress Eugénie had four of the ground floor rooms at Fontainebleau redesigned. One of these rooms was intended to display the oriental objets d'art...
Elévations de la façade d'une église néo-gothique, dessins de l'architecte Hippolyte Durand [Elevations of the façade of a Neo-Gothic church, drawings by the architect Hippolyte Durand]
Pierre-Ambroise Richebourg
Neo-Gothic church, drawings

A major figure in early photography, Richebourg was, it seems, introduced to the daguerreotype by Daguerre himself. Here, he photographed two drawings by...
Portrait d'Eugène Delacroix de face, en buste, 1842 [Portrait of Eugène Delacroix, head and shoulders, facing the camera]
Léon Riesener
Portrait of Eugène Delacroix

This daguerreotype is the first known photograph of Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863). He was forty-four years old at the time and his contained energy and pride...
La tour Eiffel - Peintre sur une corde à noeuds [Painter on a knotted rope]
Henri Rivière
The Eiffel Tower - Painter on a rope

Mainly known for his drawings and printmaking work, Henri Rivière practised photography from the middle of the 1880s, probably up to the eve of the First...
Pierre Philibert Pompée photographié sur la terrasse de l'Athénée Royal, 2, rue de Valois, le 23 juin 1841, à 1 heure [Pierre Philibert Pompée photographed on the terrace of the Athénée Royal, 2, Rue de Valois, on 23 June 1841, at one o'clock]
Louis Schweig
Pierre Philibert Pompée

Schweig's name appears several times in the records of pioneer photography. In 1839, after attending a presentation by Daguerre, he demonstrated the...
The Brass Bowl
George Seeley
The Brass Bowl

George Seeley, a member of the American "Photo Secession" group created by Alfred Stieglitz in 1903, features among the great names in early 20th century...
Zouave 2nd Division, Portrait of Roger Fenton
Marcus Sparling
Zouave 2nd Division

When Roger Fenton arrived in Sebastopol in March 1855, the climatic conditions were favourable for the use of wet plates. "From then to the beginning of...
Sunday Night on 40th Street
Edward Steichen
Sunday Night on 40th Street

In the early twentieth century, Edward Steichen was part of the Photo-Secession group created by Alfred Stieglitz in 1902 to promote pictorialism in the...
The Pool
Edward Steichen
The Pool

In 1898, Steichen produced a series of photographs of forests taken at dawn or, in very clear weather, at dusk. "Dusk is such a beautiful time of day – a...
Cyclamen - Mrs Philip Lydig
Edward Steichen
Cyclamen

In a photograph from 1901, entitled The Mirror, Steichen was clearly inspired by Utamaro (1753-1806), a Japanese print maker and painter, particularly known...
In Memoriam
Edward Steichen
In Memoriam

This monumental nude, from one of the American masters of the Photo-Secession movement, is one of the masterpieces of photographic pictorialism. Brought up in...
Photograph - New York
Paul Strand
Photograph - New York

Paul Strand studied under Lewis Hine (1874-1940), one of the fathers of social photo-reportage. He met Alfred Stieglitz, who introduced him to the European...
Arbres se reflétant dans l'eau, Lacock Abbey [Trees Reflected in the Water, Lacock Abbey]
William Henry Fox Talbot
Trees Reflected in the Water, Lacock Abbey

William Henry Fox Talbot is, with Daguerre, one of the inventors of photography. But it was his process that went on to a great future as he introduced the...
Portrait métaphorique [A Metaphorical Portrait]
Barthélémy Thalamas
A Metaphorical Portrait

This Metaphorical Portrait is on the fringe of the traditional post mortem portrait. The deceased is not present, but is curiously evoked by a painted...
La barricade de la rue  Saint-Maur-Popincourt après l'attaque par les troupes du général Lamoricière, le lundi 26 juin 1848 [The Barricade in rue Saint-Maur-Popincourt after the attack by General Lamoricière's troops, Monday 26 June 1848]
Thibault
Barricade in rue Saint-Maur-Popincourt

This photograph of the 1848 revolution is a precious document; it was taken during one of the four days in June which left several thousand dead among the...

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