Art/ Collection/ Art Object
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Struggle

Artist:
Robert Demachy (French, 1859–1936)
Date:
1903 or earlier
Medium:
Gum bichromate print
Dimensions:
Image: 17.4 x 11.6 cm (6 7/8 x 4 9/16 in.) Mount: 17.7 x 11.9 cm (6 15/16 x 4 11/16 in.) Mount (2nd): 39.6 x 29.6 cm (15 9/16 x 11 5/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gift of Isaac Lagnado, in honor of Thomas P. Campbell, 2008
Accession Number:
2008.666.3
Not on view
Demachy was the leading French proponent of Pictorialism and the director of the Photo-Club de Paris, the French parallel to the American Photo-Secession (led by Alfred Stieglitz), the Viennese Kleeblatt, and the British Brotherhood of the Linked Ring. Like his American and European counterparts, Demachy produced and promoted a type of photography that self-consciously evoked drawing and painting-part of an effort to distinguish his pictures from the products of amateur snap shooters and commercial photographers.
Demachy was particularly interested in nonstandard photographic processes and is noted especially for his revival of the gum bichromate process (invented in 1855 but little used until the 1890s), which allowed the introduction of color and brushwork into the photographic image. The orange pigment in this print is meant to evoke sanguine, a reddish chalk often used in life drawings.
By descent to Jean Demachy, grandson of the artist; (Sotheby's London, May 4, 1995, lot 126); Isaac Lagnado

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Surface Tension," September 15, 2009–March 15, 2010.

Lynn Zelevansky, Carnegie Museum of Art. "Impressionism in a New Light: From Monet to Stieglitz," May 12, 2012–August 26, 2012.

Stieglitz, Alfred, ed. Camera Work: A Photographic Quarterly 5 (January 1904). p. 16.

Fineman, Mia. Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. p. 83, fig. 25.

Vila, Anna, Silvia A. Centeno, and Nora Kennedy. "A Closer Look at Red Pictorialist Photographs by René Le Bègue and Robert Demachy." Metropolitan Museum Studies in Art, Science, and Technology 2 (2014). pp. 167–172.



Variant print from same negative appeared in the January 1904 issue of Camera Work. Primary and secondary mounts appear to be modern additions.
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