Art/ Collection/ Art Object

[The Large Tree at La Verrerie, Romesnil]

Artist:
Louis-Rémy Robert (French, 1810–1882)
Date:
ca. 1852
Medium:
Salted paper print from paper negative
Dimensions:
Image: 10 3/8 × 12 1/2 in. (26.3 × 31.8 cm)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Mrs. Walter Annenberg and The Annenberg Foundation Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
2005.100.38
Not on view
While painters might sketch the trunk of an old beech to quickly note some visual incident or as a study for part of a more elaborate landscape composition, Robert could not abbreviate his subject in the same ways. Because a camera records everything visible within its range, photographs are de facto finished compositions, replete to the frame. In this picture, that overall finish or completeness is obscured: the tones clump and swallow detail, and the granular texture (resulting from the use of a paper negative) emphasizes the coarse bark, the gnarled trough for animals, and the uneven, trampled ground around the great tree. Thus, though Robert could not make his photograph less complete (by omitting the stables and rows of paired poplars in the background, for example), he gave his picture the satisfying qualities of a painter's sketch; it is rough, familiar, and, in its reductive concentration, distinctly economical.
Inscription: [no inscriptions or annotations]
[François Braunschweig]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, November 3, 1979

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Landscapes by French Artists, 1780-1880," November 17, 1987–February 14, 1988.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," May 25, 1993–July 4, 1993.

Edinburgh International Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," August 7, 1993–October 2, 1993.

National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," June 19, 1994–September 11, 1994.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of Photography from the Gilman Paper Company Collection," February 26, 1999–May 23, 1999.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Master Photographs from the Gilman Collection: A Landmark Acquisition," June 28, 2005–September 6, 2005.

Bernard, Bruce. Photodiscovery: Masterworks of Photography, 1840–1940. New York: H. N. Abrams, 1980. pl. 19.

Apraxine, Pierre. Photographs from the Collection of the Gilman Paper Company. Reeds Springs, Mo.: White Oak Press, 1985. pl. 9.

Hambourg, Maria Morris, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, Virginia Heckert, and Jeff L. Rosenheim. The Waking Dream: Photography's First Century, Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993. no. 51, p.66.



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