In addition to the talented designers, artisans, and chemists who produced elaborate creations at the Royal Porcelain Factory, the naturalist painters Troyon, Daubigny, and Corot came to the village of Sèvres to sketch along the banks of the Seine and in the nearby forest of Saint-Cloud. Nurtured by these currents of technical and aesthetic innovation, Robert, who grew up in Sèvres and became head of the factory's painting workshop, took up photography as an amateur pursuit about 1850. In Sèvres, and in these pictures made during a visit to the glassworks at the château of Romesnil in Normandy, Robert trained his camera on the intimate, the vernacular, and the natural with a studied informality.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Inscribed in various hands, in pencil, on print, verso, BLC: "+[encircled] // MR Dieterle - 24[encircled] //Romesnil // La Verrerie // 2--.040 // 11360"
Either from the artist to Jules Diéterle, artistic director at Sèvres from 1840 to 1855, to his grandson Jean Diéterle; or from Robert to his granddaughter, to her son Jean Diéterle. From Jean Diéterle to his son Pierre; from Pierre Dieterle to his son Martin; sold in the late 1970s by Martin Diéterle with fifteen to twenty other photographs to the Galerie Texbraun (Hugues Autexier and François Braunschweig, the most important French dealers of photographs in the 1970s and 1980s); inherited by Jean-Michel Braunschweig, the brother of François, in 1986; consigned to Baudouin Lebon, Paris, in 1996; consigned by Lebon to Alain Paviot, Paris, in 1996.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photographs: A Decade of Collecting," June 5, 2001–September 4, 2001.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin: Recent Acquisitions, A Selection: 1996–1997 55, no. 2 (Fall 1997). p. 53.