Imprimerie photographique de Blanquart-Évrard, à Lille (French, active 1851–55)
Salted paper print from paper negative
Image: 23.4 x 32.4 cm (9 3/16 x 12 3/4 in.)
Mount: 45 x 60.1 cm (17 11/16 x 23 11/16 in.)
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Not on view
Unlike later tourist views produced by the Bonfils firm, for example, Salzmann’s photographs of the church avoid showing its present-day life. As a major pilgrimage center, the site would have seen streams of worshippers moving through the main portal pictured here. The closed door indicates that Salzmann set up his camera before the church opened, while the exposure time for paper negatives was so long that moving figures would not have been captured. Though the long exposure time may have been a technological limitation to some, Salzmann turned it to his advantage. Per his account, he sketched beside his camera until it was time to close the shutter. The resulting unobstructed view of the church’s diverse architectural elements facilitates in-depth examination.
Inscription: Inscribed in negative then gone over in pencil, recto BL: "60."; printed on mount, recto BC: "Aug. Salzmann // JÉRUSALEM // SAINT SÉPULCRE // Entrée principale. // Gide et J. Baudry, éditeurs. // Imp. Photogr. de Blanquart - Evrard, à Lille."; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto TR: "83"; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto BL: "[scribble mark]"; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto BR: "XXXI 6 [?=surface of paper torn, marking obscured]"
André Jammes Collection; [Graphics International, Ltd.]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, October 7, 1978
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faith and Photography: Auguste Salzmann in the Holy Land," September 12, 2016–February 5, 2017.
Perez, Nissan. "An Artist in Jerusalem: Auguste Salzmann." The Israel Museum Journal 1 (Spring 1982). pp. 19–50.
In 1854, Auguste Salzmann created approximately two hundred paper negatives during a four-month sojourn in Jerusalem. He recorded sixty-eight sites and categorized them, with some exceptions, by monotheistic religion—Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Many of the resulting salted paper prints were circulated privately soon after his return to Paris. In 1856, the album, Jerusalem: A Study and Photographic Reproduction of the Holy City, was first advertised as a commercial endeavor for a wider public. Photographic plates were distributed three at a time over fifty-eight installments from September 1856 through 1859. All of Salzmann’s Jerusalem photographs were printed by the preeminent Blanquart-Évrard firm of Lille, France, while their distribution was managed by Gide et Baudry of Paris. Each album was meant to include two volumes of photographic plates accompanied by an archaeological treatise authored by Salzmann. The album in The Met collection is complete with 174 unbound photographic plates.