Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Souvenir 1870–71

Artist:
Ernest Eugène Appert (French, 1831–1891)
Date:
1870–71
Medium:
Albumen silver prints from glass negatives
Dimensions:
Sheet: 36 x 46 cm (14 3/16 x 18 1/8 in.)
Classification:
Albums
Credit Line:
Joyce F. Menschel Photography Library Fund, 2012
Accession Number:
2012.352 (1–14)
Not on view
Following France’s defeat in the Franco-Prussian War and the fall of Napoleon III, thousands of Parisians revolted against the new royalist-leaning government and declared Paris an independent commune. Weeks of fighting ensued, during which Versailles troops attacked the city while the Communards threw up barricades, shot hostages, and burned government buildings. Soon afterward, Appert, a Parisian portrait photographer, issued “Crimes of the Commune,” a tendentious series of nine photographs of the insurrection that emphasized the criminal brutality of the rebels. Although based on real events, the photographs were utterly fabricated. Appert hired actors to restage each scene in his studio then cut and pasted the figures onto the appropriate backgrounds; atop the actors’ bodies he pasted headshots of the Commune’s key participants. The photographs were later banned by the French government for “disturbing the public peace” by sustaining anti-Communard sentiments—a testament to their effectiveness as political propaganda.
[...]; (French auction house, 1971); [...]; [Librairie Pierre-Yves Erbland, Paris, October 24, 2001]; Christophe Goeury, France

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," October 10, 2012–January 27, 2013.

Mia Fineman, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," October 10, 2012–January 27, 2013.

Earl A. Powell III, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," February 17, 2013–May 5, 2013.

Earl A. Powell III, National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," February 17, 2013–May 5, 2013.

Gary Tinterow, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," June 2, 2013–August 25, 2013.

Gary Tinterow, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop," June 2, 2013–August 25, 2013.

FINEMAN, MIA. Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2012. no. 70–73, pp. 96–97, 227.



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