A founding member of the French Photographic Society in 1854, Louis Adolphe Humbert de Molard had been exploring different photographic techniques since the beginning of the 1840s. He preferred the calotype to the daguerreotype, but produced nevertheless, probably between 1843 and 1850, a series of high quality daguerreotypes.
Humbert de Molard lived in Lagny in Picardy and at the Château d'Argentelle in Normandy, the family estate that he inherited. Throughout his life, he became attached to photographing the areas around his two properties, showing his love of country life, far from the bustling life of Paris in which he rarely participated.
A talented photographer, but also a skilful technician, Humbert de Molard knew how to prepare his plates carefully and to highlight chosen motifs. These technical qualities are prominent in this daguerreotype of the la Rochefoucauld nursing home, situated in today's 14th arrondissement of Paris. An exceptional chemist, he showed great mastery of the daguerreian plate. The light solarisation on the surface produces a bluish sky against which the strong lines of the building stand out clearly.