Château de Tournoël Daguerre, Louis  (French, 1787-1851)

Voyages Pittoresques Et Romantiques Dans L’ancienne France is an example of the state of the art of lithography pre-photography including this example by Daguerre. As a "portable museum", les Voyages pittoresques… had to present French monuments in a dramatic way. Publisher Baron Taylor had worked for some years in the Opera as a drawer of decors in the workshop of Degotti. He had met Louis Daguerre there, who had a strong interest in the problems of perspective and light in presenting a play. With another painter, Charles-Marie Bouton, Daguerre imagined what they call the Diorama: a way to stage plays dramatically. It relied on the painting of huge canvases, which could be lighted in different ways: with front lights, as a painting, or with backlights, by transparency. Changing the lights transformed the scenery and provided it with some dynamism – prefiguring, in this way, photography. The interest of Daguerre in the rendering of scenes led him later, from 1829, to cooperate with the inventor of photography, Nicéphore Niepce, and to develop the first form of commercial photography with the daguerreotype (1839)

Reproduced / Exhibited

Gernsheim, Helmut, and Alison Gernsheim. L.J.M. Daguerre (1787-1851): The World’s First Photographer. Cleveland: World Pub. Co, 1956. pl. 3

Courtin, Voyages Pittoresques, Auvergne, Vol 1, 1829, pl 26

Stephen C. Pinson, Speculating Daguerre, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2012, Cat. No 24.

Other Collections: George Eastman Museum (Cromer collection), Bibliothèque nationale de France