Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

[Still Life with Statuary]

Hippolyte Bayard (French, 1801–1887)
Early 1850s
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 26.2 x 20.2 cm (10 5/16 x 7 15/16 in.)
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Purchase, William Talbott Hillman Foundation Gift, 2005
Accession Number:
Not on view
One of the most creative practitioners of the photographic medium during its initial years, Bayard trained his camera on a remarkable variety of subjects. Studies of plaster casts were among his earliest and most inventive photographs. The Frenchman drew from his collection of almost forty statuettes to orchestrate a mythological theater before the camera. Here, Bayard draws back a curtain to reveal a meticulously arranged scene of casts on staggered pedestals, with cupid at the apex poised to release
his arrow.
Inscription: Initialed in the negative, BC: "H B"
Hippolyte Bayard; [...]; (sold, Sotheby's, London, May 10, 1990, lot 282); Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York

This hitherto unrecorded composition incorporates various items which appear in other, usually less elaborate, still life groupings. Studies of casts from his studio were amongst the very earliest subjects by Bayard in his early experiments with his direct positive process in early 1839 and 1840. He went on in the early 40s and 50s to make a number of further still life studies, and photographs in his studio which included objects which had featured in the still-life. [Pierre Apraxine]
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