Person in photograph Henriette-Caroline-Victoire Robert (French, 1834–1934)
Salted paper print from paper negative
Mount: 12 13/16 in. × 10 3/8 in. (32.5 × 26.3 cm)
Image: 8 11/16 × 5 13/16 in. (22 × 14.7 cm)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Mrs. Walter Annenberg and The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 2005
Not on view
Louis-Rémy Robert was head of the gilding and painting ateliers at the Sèvres porcelain works. Shortly after Talbot's paper negative process was demonstrated at the Academy of Sciences in 1847, Robert and Henri Regnault, the director of the manufactury, began experimenting with the new medium. Combining their knowledge of chemistry with their artistry, Robert and Regnault were among the first Frenchmen to make paper photographs that were both technically and aesthetically satisfying. Many of their earliest photographs were portraits of family members, friends, and fellow artisans posed outdoors at Sèvres. In this image we see Robert's daughter, Henriette-Caroline-Victoire, born in 1834. Despite her girlish figure, reduced to a sculptural fragment by the strong light-and-dark contrasts, she seems a woman completely. If she appears both demurely self-protective and openly charming, it is perhaps because she was aware of the presence of both her father and her husband, the painter Emile Van Marcke, who, in another photograph, joins his new wife, leaning into the sunlight behind her chair.
Inscription: Inscribed in pencil on mount, recto BL: "Henriette Robert"; Inscribed in pencil on mount, verso TC: "Martin Diéterle 4. portrait d'Henriette Robert -"; Stamped on mount, verso TL: "Jean Diéterle."
Diéterle Family; [Galerie Texbraun, Paris, by 1983]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, May 24, 1983