Daguerreotype; 3 1/2 x 2 3/4 in. (8.9 x 7 cm)
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005 (2005.100.611)
Daguerre's supposed reluctance to be photographed perhaps explains the relatively small number of daguerreotypes that depict him. Although some evidence suggests that this piece is a self-portrait, other factors make such an attribution uncertain. In any case, this image, despite damage to the plate, remains one of the most engaging portraits of the inventor of photography. The pose, in which he rests one arm on a table, is standard, but the expression and regard remain slightly unfixed as Daguerre, eyes squinted and head cocked, looks directly at the camera.