Chaplle Des Feuillants Daguerre, Louis  (French, 1787-1851)

This work contains an ink on paper etching and engraving after Daguerre’s painting, Chapelle des Feuillants (1814) by Augustin-Francois Lemaître. In some respects this print is a physical manifestation of the evolving collaboration between Nicéphore Niépce, Louis Daguerre, and Lemaître – a collaboration that would ultimately result in the invention of the Daguerreotype. Daguerre was made aware of Niepce’s work in 1826 through Chevalier, an optician in Paris. Not sure what to make of Daguerre, Niépce asked his collaborator and friend, Lemaître, if he knew Daguerre. Lemaître wrote to Niépce in in 1827, “Last spring, having been commissioned by a publisher to engrave one of his pictures which is in Galerie Du Luxembourg, I went to show him the drawing which I had made after it; that is how I made his acquaintance. I have only met him since when I went to see one of his pictures at the Diorama. At the end of the month I have to submit to him a proof of my engraving, which is nearly ready. As to the opinion which I have of him, as a painter M. Daguerre has great talent for imitation and exquisite taste in the composition of his pictures. I believe him to have an unusual gift for everything concerning mechanics and effects of light; this is evident to anybody visiting his establishment.” Over the course of the collaboration between Niépce and Daguerre, Lemaître was considered a third partner, if only casually, when it came to anything related to engraving. Within the official written agreement between Daguerre and Niépce, Lemaître is the only third party mentioned, “When the partners think well to apply the said invention to the process of engraving; that is to say, when they have decided what advantages it may possess which will enable an engraver to make a trial plate, MM. Niépce and Daguerre hereby agree to select no one but Lemaitre for carrying out the same.” From Victor Fouque, The Truth Concerning The Invention of Photography 1867/1935

Reproduced / Exhibited

Gernsheim, Helmut, and Alison Gernsheim. L.j.m. Daguerre (1787-1851): The World’s First Photographer. Cleveland: World Pub. Co, 1956. pl. 6
Batchen, Geoffrey.
Apparitions: The Photograph and Its Image, 2017. p. 11