La Daguerreotypomanie (Daguerreotypomania) Maurisset, Théodore  (French, 1803-1860)

This playful lithograph published shortly after the announcement of the invention of the daguerreotype suggests the chaotic world that photography would create, chronicling the many ways entrepreneurs hoped to cash in on the daguerreotype craze. Long lines of people wait to be photographed, with entrepreneurs offering training and photographic equipment. The death of the business of engraving is suggested by an offering of "Potences a Louer pour MM Les Graveurs" [gallows for hire for the engravers] and showing engravers committing suicide because their jobs have been taken away. Adjacent to this harrowing scene a sign reads "epruve daguerrienne sur paper" [daguerrean proof on paper] showing Alfred Donne working under a dark cloth. Donne was experimenting at the time with engraving daguerreotypes for reproduction.

Maurisset imagines a world dominated by photography and where even time, in the form of a camera-like clock, is measured by it. In a comically exaggerated way, Maurisset was expressing the fears of artists about a discovery many believed posed a threat to their profession.

Reproduced / Exhibited

La Caricature, Nr. 58, 1er annee, deuxieme serie, 8 December, 1839

Chez Bauger, r. du Croissant 16, [1840] (Imp. d’Aubert & cie.)

Josef Maria Eder, Geschicte der Photographie, Verlag von Wilhelm Knapp, 1905, pg 211

Nadar’s "Paris-Photograph" 1893, p. 486

‘From today painting is dead’ The Beginnings of Photography, The Arts Council of Great Britain, London, 1972, pg 23

Helmut and Alison Gernsheim, L.J.M. Daguerre, The World Publishing, Cleveland, 1956, fig 110

Facts Tatsachen, Photography from the 19th and 20th Century, Steidl, Gottingen, 2006, fig 169

La Dagerreotype Francais. Un Objet Photographique, Reunion des Musees Nationaux, Paris, 2003, Cat 44, pg 161

Photo Rundschau 1889, p. 101

Photo Illustration, Numero 8, 1834, pl 181

Gernsheim, Helmut & Gernsheim, Alison. —The History of Photography from the Camera Obscura to the Beginning of the Modern Era.— New York: McGraw-Hill, 1969. pl. 29.//

Pollock, Peter. —The Picture History of Photography.– US, NY, New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1969. p. 69.//

Rosenblum, Naomi. —A World History of Photography.— New York: Abbeville Press, 1984. p. 21.//

Buerger, Janet E. —French Daguerreotypes.— Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1989. p. 64.//

Michel F. Braive, Ruth Henry, Das Zeitalter der Photographie : von Niépce bis heute, Verlag Georg. D.W. Callwey, Munchen, 1965, pg 8-9
Original Publication: La Caricature morale, politique et littéraire / A. Audibert, editor-in-chief; [director: Ch. Philipon] December 8, 1839

Eder, Josef M. Ausfuhrliches Handbuch Der Photographie. Halle a.S: W. Knapp, 1905. P. 211

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

Image Magazine, April 1953 vol. II No. 4


Weston Naef, The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Photographs Collection (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1995), 32. © 1995 The J. Paul Getty Museum.