Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Jacques-Joseph Ebelman on his Deathbed

Artist:
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, The Hite Foundation Gift, 2000
Accession Number:
2000.235
Not on view
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.
From the artist, by descent, to Guy Watelin, Paris; [Galerie Baudoin Lebon, Paris, 1999]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs: A Decade of Collecting," June 5, 2001–September 4, 2001.

Musée d'Orsay. "Le Dernier Portrait," March 4, 2002–May 26, 2002.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Fatal Attraction: Piotr Uklański Selects from the Met Collection," March 17–June 14, 2015.

Uklański, Piotr. Piotr Uklański: Fatal Attraction. New York: Rizzoli International Publications, 2015.



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