Electro–Physiologie, Figure 64

Adrien Tournachon French
Guillaume-Benjamin-Amand Duchenne de Boulogne French

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In compiling a scientific treatise to aid artists, the physiologist Duchenne de Boulogne used electrical stimulation of the facial muscles to elicit expressions of the principal emotions. Wanting his transcriptions to be exact, he collaborated with Adrien Tournachon (brother of the famous Nadar), a photographer who specialized in portraiture. From the negatives they made together in 1854, Adrien produced a single set of carefully crafted prints that the doctor mounted in a large album (now École des Beaux-Arts, Paris). Later, on his own, Duchenne copied and cropped the images to create illustrations for his book Mécanisme de la physionomie humaine; ou, Analyse électro-physiologique de l’expression des passions applicable à la pratique des arts plastiques (1862). In the volume, Duchenne wrote that the subject of this image seems terrified of the idea of imminent death or torture: “This expression must be that of the damned.”

Electro–Physiologie, Figure 64, Adrien Tournachon (French, 1825–1903), Albumen silver print from glass negative

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