Imprimerie photographique de Blanquart-Évrard, à Lille (French, active 1851–55)
Salted paper print from paper negative
Image: 31 x 22.9 cm (12 3/16 x 9 in.)
Mount: 59.9 x 44.8 cm (23 9/16 x 17 5/8 in.)
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Not on view
Salzmann centers this composition on a covered window at what he identifies as an Armenian monastery. His vantage point emphasizes the textural variation among the intricate designs chiseled into the gridlike pattern of the stone wall. Shadows created by the sun’s high position outline the areas of carved relief and provide the contrast needed for a legible photograph. Although these examples of ornament hold significant cultural and religious meaning for the monastery’s inhabitants, Salzmann was interested only in their aesthetic qualities.
Inscription: Inscribed in negative then gone over in pencil, recto BL: "96"; printed on mount, recto BC: "Aug. Salzmann // JÉRUSALEM // COUVENT ARMÉNIEN // Ornements. // Gide et J. Baudry, éditeurs. // Imp. Photogr. de Blanquart - Evrard, à Lille."; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto TR: "122"
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.