Clair de lune sur la mer Rutot, A.  (Belgian, 1890s)

The 1896 international photographic art exposition hosted by the Photo-Club de Paris, its third, was held at the Galerie Des Champs Elysées in Paris from May 12-31, 1896. Like the first two years, an elegant photogravure portfolio was published in conjunction with the show. This portfolio contains 42 photogravures and one lithographic plate-depicting an Art-Nouveau style drawing by the French artist Edme Couty. All the plates were printed by the French Atelier Charles Wittmann. Copper plates for the plate impressions were prepared by Fillon et Heuse, two by Blechinger and one each by James Craig Annan and Walter Colls.

Rutot was an early promoter of artistic photography in Belgium. In 1888, Rutot spoke about the “personal expression of the photographer” -his views were printed in the Bulletin de L’ABP (Bulletin for the Brussels Artistic and Literary Circle) : “On this occasion Mr. A. Rutot emphasized photography’s aptitude, when guided by artistic sensibilities, not only to reproduce faithfully the various aspects and manifestations of nature, but also to become impregnated with the artist’s own personality. For example, he urged the viewer to compare the positives of Messrs. Alexandre, Neck, and Puttemans, and at the end of the meeting everybody acknowledged that all the prints, while very successful in themselves, also demonstrated a striking personal element; a special note, one might say, that each artist had imprinted on his work. This must have come as something of a shock to those who still believe that photography entails nothing more than the application of chemical and mechanical processes.” [1]


Dawm, Patrick, Francis Ribemont, and Philip Prodger. Impressionist Camera: Pictorial Photography in Europe, 1888-1918. London: Merrell Holberton, 2006 p. 161