LOUIS-JACQUES-MANDé DAGUERRE (French: ; 18 November 1787 – 10 July 1851), better known as LOUIS DAGUERRE, was a French artist and photographer , recognized for his invention of the daguerreotype process of photography. He became known as one of the fathers of photography. Though he is most famous for his contributions to photography, he was also an accomplished painter and a developer of the diorama theatre.
* 1 Biography
* 2 Development of the daguerreotype
* 3 Competition with Talbot
In 1829, Daguerre partnered with
Nicéphore Niépce , an inventor who
had produced the world's first heliograph in 1822 and the oldest
surviving camera photograph in 1826 or 1827. Niépce died suddenly
in 1833, but Daguerre continued experimenting, and evolved the process
which would subsequently be known as the daguerreotype . After efforts
to interest private investors proved fruitless, Daguerre went public
with his invention in 1839. At a joint meeting of the French Academy
of Sciences and the
Académie des Beaux Arts on 7 January of that
year, the invention was announced and described in general terms, but
all specific details were withheld. Under assurances of strict
confidentiality, Daguerre explained and demonstrated the process only
to the Academy's perpetual secretary
Daguerre died on 10 July 1851 in Bry-sur-Marne , 12 km (7 mi) from Paris. A monument marks his grave there.
Daguerre's name is one of the 72 names inscribed on the Eiffel tower .
DEVELOPMENT OF THE DAGUERREOTYPE
Boulevard du Temple
In the mid-1820s, prior to his association with Daguerre, Niépce used a coating of bitumen of Judea to make the first permanent camera photographs. The bitumen was hardened where it was exposed to light and the unhardened portion was then removed with a solvent. A camera exposure lasting for hours or days was required. Niépce and Daguerre later refined this process, but unacceptably long exposures were still needed.
After the death of Niépce in 1833, Daguerre concentrated his attention on the light-sensitive properties of silver salts, which had previously been demonstrated by Johann Heinrich Schultz and others. For the process which was eventually named the daguerreotype , he exposed a thin silver-plated copper sheet to the vapour given off by iodine crystals, producing a coating of light-sensitive silver iodide on the surface. The plate was then exposed in the camera. Initially, this process, too, required a very long exposure to produce a distinct image, but Daguerre made the crucial discovery that an invisibly faint "latent" image created by a much shorter exposure could be chemically "developed" into a visible image. Upon seeing the image, the contents of which are unknown, Daguerre said, "I have seized the light – I have arrested its flight!"
The latent image on a daguerreotype plate was developed by subjecting it to the vapour given off by mercury heated to 75 °C. The resulting visible image was then "fixed" (made insensitive to further exposure to light) by removing the unaffected silver iodide with concentrated and heated salt water . Later, a solution of the more effective "hypo" (hyposulphite of soda, now known as sodium thiosulfate ) was used instead.
The resultant plate produced an exact reproduction of the scene. The image was laterally reversed—as images in mirrors are—unless a mirror or inverting prism was used during exposure to flip the image. To be seen optimally, the image had to be lit at a certain angle and viewed so that the smooth parts of its mirror-like surface, which represented the darkest parts of the image, reflected something dark or dimly lit. The surface was subject to tarnishing by prolonged exposure to the air and was so soft that it could be marred by the slightest friction, so a daguerreotype was almost always sealed under glass before being framed (as was commonly done in France) or mounted in a small folding case (as was normal in the UK and US).
Daguerreotypes were usually portraits ; the rarer landscape views and
other unusual subjects are now much sought-after by collectors and
sell for much higher prices than ordinary portraits. At the time of
its introduction, the process required exposures lasting ten minutes
or more for brightly sunlit subjects, so portraiture was an
The daguerreotype was the Polaroid film of its day: it produced a unique image which could only be duplicated by using a camera to photograph the original. Despite this drawback, millions of daguerreotypes were produced. The paper-based calotype process, introduced by Henry Fox Talbot in 1841, allowed the production of an unlimited number of copies by simple contact printing , but it had its own shortcomings—the grain of the paper was obtrusively visible in the image, and the extremely fine detail of which the daguerreotype was capable was not possible. The introduction of the wet collodion process in the early 1850s provided the basis for a negative-positive print-making process not subject to these limitations, although it, like the daguerreotype, was initially used to produce one-of-a-kind images—ambrotypes on glass and tintypes on black-lacquered iron sheets—rather than prints on paper. These new types of images were much less expensive than daguerreotypes, and they were easier to view. By 1860 few photographers were still using Daguerre's process.
The same small ornate cases commonly used to house daguerreotypes were also used for images produced by the later and very different ambrotype and tintype processes, and the images originally in them were sometimes later discarded so that they could be used to display photographic paper prints. It is now a very common error for any image in such a case to be described as "a daguerreotype". A true daguerreotype is always an image on a highly polished silver surface, usually under protective glass. If it is viewed while a brightly lit sheet of white paper is held so as to be seen reflected in its mirror-like metal surface, the daguerreotype image will appear as a relatively faint negative —its dark and light areas reversed—instead of a normal positive. Other types of photographic images are almost never on polished metal and do not exhibit this peculiar characteristic of appearing positive or negative depending on the lighting and reflections.
COMPETITION WITH TALBOT
Unbeknownst to either inventor, Daguerre's developmental work in the mid-1830s coincided with photographic experiments being conducted by Henry Fox Talbot in England. Talbot had succeeded in producing a "sensitive paper" impregnated with silver chloride and capturing small camera images on it in the summer of 1835, though he did not publicly reveal this until January 1839. Talbot was unaware that Daguerre's late partner Niépce had obtained similar small camera images on silver-chloride-coated paper nearly twenty years earlier. Niépce could find no way to keep them from darkening all over when exposed to light for viewing and had therefore turned away from silver salts to experiment with other substances such as bitumen. Talbot chemically stabilized his images to withstand subsequent inspection in daylight by treating them with a strong solution of common salt.
When the first reports of the
French Academy of Sciences
Daguerre's agent Miles Berry applied for a British patent just days before France declared the invention "free to the world". Great Britain was thereby uniquely denied France's free gift, and became the only country where the payment of license fees was required. This had the effect of inhibiting the spread of the process there, to the eventual advantage of competing processes which were subsequently introduced. Antoine Claudet was one of the few people legally licensed to make daguerreotypes in Britain. Daguerre's pension was relatively modest—barely enough to support a middle-class existence—and apparently this British "irregularity" was allowed to pass without adverse consequences or much comment outside of the UK.
Diagram of the London diorama building
In the spring of 1821, Daguerre partnered with Charles Bouton with the common goal of creating a diorama theatre. Daguerre had expertise in lighting and scenic effects, and Bouton was the more experienced painter. However, Bouton eventually withdrew, and Daguerre acquired sole responsibility of the diorama theatre.
The first diorama theatre was built in Paris, adjacent to Daguerre's studio. The first exhibit opened 11 July 1822 showing two tableaux, one by Daguerre and one by Bouton. This would become a pattern. Each exhibition would typically have two tableaux, one each by Daguerre and Bouton. Also, one would be an interior depiction, and the other would be a landscape. Daguerre hoped to create a realistic illusion for an audience, and wanted audiences to not only be entertained, but also awe-struck. The diorama theatres were magnificent in size. A large translucent canvas, measuring around 70 ft wide and 45 ft tall, was painted on both sides. These paintings were vivid and detailed pictures, and were lit from different angles. As the lights changed, the scene would transform. The audience would begin to see the painting on the other side of the screen. The effect was awe-inspiring. “Transforming impressions, mood changes, and movements were produced by a system of shutters and screens that allowed light to be projected- from behind- on alternately separate sections of an image painted on a semi-transparent backdrop” (Szalczer).
Because of their size, the screens had to remain stationary. Since the tableaux were stationary, the auditorium revolved from one scene to another. The auditorium was a cylindrical room and had a single opening in the wall, similar to a proscenium arch, through which the audience could watch a “scene”. Audiences would average around 350, and most would stand, though limited seating was provided. Twenty-one diorama paintings were exhibited in the first eight years. These included ‘Trinity Chapel in Canterbury Cathedral’, ‘Chartres Cathedral’, ‘City of Rouen’, and ‘Environs of Paris’ by Bouton; ‘Valley of Sarnen’, ‘Harbour of Brest’, ‘Holyroodhouse Chapel ’, and ‘Roslin Chapel’ by Daguerre.
The Roslin Chapel was known for a few legends involving an unconsuming fire. The legend goes that the Chapel has appeared to be in flames just before a high-status death, but has later shown no damage from any such fire. This chapel was also known for being unique in its architectural beauty. Daguerre was aware of both of these aspects of Roslin Chapel, and this made it a perfect subject for his diorama painting. The legends connected with the chapel would be sure to attract a large audience. Interior of Roslin Chapel in Paris opened 24 September 1824 and closed February 1825. The scene depicted light coming in through a door and a window. Foliage shadows could be seen at the window, and the way the light’s rays shone through the leaves was breathtaking and seemed to “go beyond the power of painting” (Maggi). Then the light faded on the scene as if a cloud was passing over the sun. The Times dedicated an article to the exhibition, calling it “perfectly magical”.
The dioramas prospered for a few years until going into the 1830s. Then, inevitably, the theatre burned down. The diorama had been Daguerre’s only source of income. At first glance, the event was tragically fateful. But the enterprise was already close to its end, thus losing the diorama tableaux was not completely disastrous, considering the funds granted under the insurance.
PORTRAITS AND ARTWORKS OF LOUIS DAGUERRE
* ^ "The First Photograph — Heliography". Retrieved 29 September
2009. from Helmut Gernsheim's article, "The 150th Anniversary of
Photography," in History of Photography, Vol. I, No. 1, January 1977:
... In 1822, Niépce coated a glass plate ... The sunlight passing
through ... This first permanent example ... was destroyed ... some
* ^ Stokstad, Marilyn ; David Cateforis; Stephen Addiss (2005). Art
History (Second ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson
Education. pp. 964–967. ISBN 0-13-145527-3 .
* ^ National Geographic, October 1989, pg. 530
* ^ "Daguerre". UC Santa Barbara Department of Geography. Retrieved
18 November 2011.
* ^ "\'A State Pension for L. J. M. Daguerre for the secret of his
* Carl Edwin Lindgren. Teaching Photography in the Indian School.
Photo Trade Directory: 1991. India International Photographic Council.
Edited: N. Sundarraj and K. Ponnuswamy. VII IIPC-SIPATA Intl. Workshop
and Conference on Photography — Madras, p. 9.
* R. Colson (ed.), Mémoires originaux des créateurs de la
photographie. Nicéphore Niepce, Daguerre, Bayard, Talbot, Niepce de
Saint-Victor, Poitevin, Paris 1898
* Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, L.J.M. Daguerre. The History of the
* t * e
19th-century French photographers
Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon
Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard
Auguste Hippolyte Collard
* WorldCat Identities * VIAF : 44310225 * LCCN : n87136265 * ISNI : 0000 0001 1471 4125 * GND : 118670883 * SELIBR : 183121 * SUDOC : 02829243X * BNF : cb120157730 (data) * ULAN : 500022993 * NDL : 00692529 * Léonore : LH/646/53 * BNE : XX1263095 * R