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Not Human (excerpt), by Brandon Latu

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Vest of Emperor Maximilian

André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (French, Paris 1819–1889 Paris)

Artist:
François Aubert (French, 1829–1906)
Date:
1867
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
19.4 x 23.8 cm. (7 5/8 x 9 3/8 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Gift of Myriam and Harry Lunn, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.219
  • Description

    In the 1860s collecting and exchanging cartes-de-visite-little photographs about the size of a visiting card that were often mounted in ornate albums-grew tremendously popular in Europe and the United States. This uncut sheet of cartes depicts the bullet-riddled vest of the Austrian Archduke Maximilian I, who was appointed emperor of Mexico by Napoleon III in 1864. Maximilian's puppet regime lasted only three years; when the French army withdrew from Mexico in 1867, he was captured, tried, and executed by the nationalist supporters of Benito Juarez.
    François Aubert, a French photographer who was in Mexico at the time, photographed Maximilian's corpse and clothing, producing a sensational and somewhat gruesome record of the execution and the politically charged relics of the slain emperor. This image of Maximillian's disembodied vest floating in an indeterminate space was re-photographed in carte-de-visite format by the highly successful Parisian photographer Disdéri.

  • Provenance

    The artist's studio; General Rebora; Maurice Levert; M. and Mme du Passage; Peschetau-Badin, Godeau et Leroy sale (Drouot, Paris) Jan. 28, 1995, lot 148; Harry Lunn.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
267183

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