Louis–Rémy Robert (French, 18101882)
Salted paper print from paper negative; 10 5/8 x 13 7/8 in. (27 x 35.2 cm)
Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1996 (1996.363.2)
This rare and beautiful photographthe only known print of this imagecomes from a small series of views made at Romesnil, in Normandy. By virtue of their scale, complexity, and authority, they represent a high point of Robert's oeuvre. Here, a dilapidated wooden barn, crumbling stucco outbuildings, pebbly road, and pile of sticks are vehicles for an exquisite study of tone and texture. Robert, who in the kilns of Sèvres daily transformed natural elements of earth, water, and fire, found a more compelling beauty at Romesnil in nature's gradual reclaiming of humanity's constructions.