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Autoportrait de Charles Nègre Negre, Charles  (French, 1820-1880)

One way in which photographic critics tried to enhance public perception of the medium in the early 1850s was to argue for the creative intelligence of the photographer. In his writing, the critic Ernest Lacan spoke of: the artist photographer, who, having devoted his life to studying of the arts such as painting, architecture, engraving etc., perceived photography as being a new means by which to convey his impressions, to imitate the poetry, the richness and beauty of nature, [and] to reproduce those works of art which human genius has scattered all over the world. He is usually a painter: he is always man of intelligence and talent Negre perfectly embodied Lacan’s sentiment. [1]

Reproduced / Exhibited

Heilbrun, Françoise. Charles Nègre, Photographe: 1820-1880 ; Arles, Musée Réattu, 5.7. – 17.8.1980. Paris: Éd. des musées nationaux, 1980. fig. 9. (calotype)

La Photographie III Collection Marie-Thérese et André Jammes Paris 22 March 2002 Lot 377 (Salt)

Princeton University Art Museum Object Number 2002-403


[1] Marien, Mary W. Photography and Its Critics: A Cultural History, 1839-1900. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2011. Print