Imprimerie photographique de Blanquart-Évrard, à Lille (French, active 1851–55)
Salted paper print (Blanquart-Évrard process) from paper negative
20.9 x 16.2 cm (8 1/4 x 6 3/8 in.)
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1946
Not on view
Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Évrard pursued William Henry Fox Talbot's negative/positive experiments and by 1851 was confident enough to open a factory in the outskirts of Lille, in northern France, that cleared the way to mass-producing photographs in the same quantities as traditional prints. At last, photography could hope to succeed as both art and industry. A frequent collaborator of Blanquart-Évrard, Marville contributed more than one hundred photographs, mostly architectural views, to the publisher's many portfolios. This image is somewhat atypical of Marville's oeuvre. Its atmosphere of intimacy and nonchalance evokes the achievements of the wealthy amateur photographers of the time more than the severe architectural views usually associated with Marville. However, it was published in Blanquart-Évrard's album, Études photographiques (1853), the title of which suggests that such pictures were intended as studies for artists.
Inscription: signed in negative, LL on print: "Ch. Marville [illegible]" [Isabelle Jammes cites this print as "Signé Ch. Marville, 1853", but in our print the date is not legible]; printed on mount, recto, LC: "ÉTUDES PHOTOGRAPHIQUES.// 1e SÉRIE, No 18 [numbers inscribed in pencil]// BLANQUART-ÉVRARD, ÉDITEUR. IMPRIMERIE PHOTOGRAPHIQUE, Blanquart-Évrard, à Lille."
E. Weill, London
Acquired as 1 of 20 leaves in a loosely bound album with pink paper covers titled in letterpress "Album Photographique, Choix de Vingt Sujets Divers," Paris. Originally part of the suite of images called "Étude Photographique" which appeared in 1853. Our album is a sampler of several of Blanquart-Évrard's suites; the choice of plates may well have been left to the purchaser. No other sampler album of this type is known to exist.