The birth of photography

The French Daguerreotype in the Musée d'Orsay collections

From 27 May to September 07th, 2008 -
Musée d'Orsay
1, rue de la Légion d'Honneur 75007 Paris
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Anonyme-Une partie d'échecs
Anonyme
Une partie d'échecs, vers 1850
Musée d'Orsay
© Musée d’Orsay, Dist. RMN-Grand Palais / Patrice Schmidt
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As a counterpoint to the exhibition on the English calotype, the first photographic process on paper, developed by William Fox Talbot, this exhibition looks at the special aesthetic quality of the daguerreotype. Unlike the calotype, which introduced the principle of a negative, the daguerreotype produces one single photograph, without the capacity for duplication, on to a metal plate. The images are both positive and negative at once, and are distinguished by their sharpness of detail, and the mirror effect resulting from the type of support used.
Through the varied subjects in these photographs, the exhibition traces the development and rapid, if brief, proliferation of Daguerre's invention. It also shows the richness of the Musée d'Orsay's daguerreotype collection, which has continued to grow since 2000.

The exhibition is now over.

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Detailed presentation of the exhibition

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