Louis-Adolphe Humbert de Molard (French, Paris 1800–1874)
Salted paper print from paper negative
Image: 22.3 x 17.7 cm (8 3/4 x 6 15/16 in.)
Gilman Collection, Purchase, Mr. and Mrs. Henry R. Kravis Gift, 2005
Not on view
Humbert de Molard, freed from financial concerns by the wealth of his landholdings in Normandy and perhaps missing the activity of Paris as he settled in the provincial town of Lagny, took up photography in 1843, just four years after its invention. A clever chemist and skilled craftsman, he quickly mastered the new medium of daguerreotypy and experimented with paper photography by the late 1840s.
Clearly attempting to create in photography the type of genre scene he admired in seventeenth-century Dutch painting and its early nineteenth-century French revival, the wealthy baron and gentleman farmer Humbert de Molard posed his caretaker Louis Dodier (standing in elegant contrapposto, wearing wooden clogs) and other workers in a tableau of rural activity at his château at Argentelle, in Normandy.
[Alain Paviot, Paris]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, , October 11, 1996
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Howard Gilman Gallery: Inaugural Installation," October 16, 1997–February 1, 1998.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Master Photographs from the Gilman Collection: A Landmark Acquisition," June 28, 2005–September 6, 2005.
Jammes, André, and Eugenia Parry Janis. The Art of French Calotype: With Critical Dictionary of Photographers, 1845–1870. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983. no. pl. XII.
Chéreau, Bernard and Annick. E. Bacot, A. de Brébisson, A. Humbert de Molard: Trois Photographes en Basse-Normandie au XIXe Siècle. Caen, France: Ardi, 1989. p. 92.
Other prints of this image are in the collection Musée Gatien Bonnet, Lagny-sur-Marne and Collection Texbraun, Paris.