André–Adolphe–Eugène Disdéri (French, 18191889)
Albumen silver print from glass negative; 7 7/8 x 9 1/8 in. (20 x 23.2 cm)
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1995 (1995.170.1)
Disdéri popularized the system by which eight exposures could be made on one glass negative, printed in a single operation, and then cut and glued to visiting-card-size mounts. By the late 1850s, collecting and exchanging such cartes-de-visite was immensely popular. Although millions of these portraits were produced, this uncut sheet from Disdéri's archive is a rare illustration of the eight-in-one technique, of Second Empire posing, and of the public and private roles of the carte-de-visite. For his series of cartes, Prince Lobkowitz first posed surrounded by studio props in top hat and frock coat, then, in the eighth frame, against a plain backdrop in less formal attire.