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Jacques-Joseph Ebelman on his Deathbed

Louis-Rémy Robert (French, 1810–1882)

Date:
March 31, 1852
Medium:
Waxed paper negative
Dimensions:
19 x 24.5 cm (7 1/2 x 9 5/8 in.)
Classification:
Negatives
Credit Line:
Purchase, Hite Foundation Gift, 2000
Accession Number:
2000.235
  • Description

    This paper negative, from the collection of Robert's descendants, shows Jacques-Joseph Ebelmen, director of the Sèvres porcelain factory, on his deathbed March 31, 1852. From its inception, photography was enlisted to record the faces of the deceased-it was, in effect, a new type of death mask. As the antipode to proper representation of the living world, the negative is particularly appropriate for a depiction of death. In it, Ebelmen's head-with pallid skin and white hair-rests on black pillows, and the slight solarization of the negative suggests a spiritual aura.

  • Provenance

    From the artist, by descent, to Guy Watelin, Paris; [Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, 1999]

  • See also
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    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
283727

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