La Photographie appliquée aux Sciences Naturelles par L. Rousseau et. A. Devéria Deveria, Achille  (French)

Original art for maquette cover of Photographie Zoologique. La Photographie appliquée aux Sciences Naturelles by Achille Devéria

Photographie Zoologique was announced in 1852 in the midst of many competing discourses surrounding the institutional discipline of zoology and the emerging art and technology of photography.” The project initially assembled six photographic plates of zoological subjects in a single portfolio; the prospectus announced the organizers’ intentions to offer regular installments of this size. The photographic specimens included a wide range of animal subjects, including shells belonging to land and sea creatures, insects, mammalian skulls and bones, and reptiles. As displayed in the drawn marginalia of the title page, a horse and antelope skull, a monkey and wren, an alligator and dinosaur-like creature surround Roman-like portrait medallions of the museum scientists, suggestively representing the exotic types of animals pictured within; similarly, tantalizing glimpses of a far-away or exotic life were also promised in the representations of the obelisk, pyramids, and Great Sphynx of Egypt above the title, as well as the unnamed island paradise below. The publication reached its first large audience, at the Exposition Universelle of 1855 displayed publicly for the first time in the Palais de l’industne, it was heralded as the harbinger of a new age in visual representation by important institutional voices claiming that it had broken significant new ground: for one, Photographie Zoologique was identified as the first cooperative venture between the Académie des sciences and the Muséum d’histoirc naturelle to use photography to assist in their scientific investigations, in particular the act of classification and then, later, cataloging. It was further promoted during the Exposition Universelle as the first systematic application of photography to replace line drawing; that were conventionally used as the basis of printed engravings, pointing the way toward the eventual replacement of such engraving by photography for illustrated zoological texts. Additionally, Photographie Zoologique was advanced at the Exposition as the first attempt to apply new means of photographic mass production to make the work available to a broad audience.

In 1852 the French Academy of Sciences decided to use photography to illustrate one of its studies examining the rare animals in the collection of the Museum of Natural History. Revealing the immense services that photography could render to science, the first fascicles of Photographie Zoologique Ou Représentation Des Animaux Rares Des Collections Du Muséum D’histoire Naturelle were issued with salted paper prints by the Bisson frères tipped in. However in 1853 the Academy switched to the new photogravure process [Niepce St. Victor] "to give a new application to photography to make available to all the reproductions obtained by this marvelous process, reproductions so faithful that a magnifying glass alone will render perfectly all those qualities which escape the naked eye." The volume is thus the first substantial publication to be illustrated with photogravure as well as the first French scientific work to be illustrated by photography. (Malcolm Daniel)

Graphic art printers, as well as political economists and industrialists, used their respective trade journals to promote the project as the first practical test for photogravure (Rosen) while officials of the Muséum d’histoire naturelle also promoted Photographie Zoologique as the first institutional attempt to apply the medium of photography to a systematic cataloguing effort. The project therefore occupied more than one seat at the table of new photographic applications.

Photographie Zoologique
revealed the immense services that photography could render to science by demonstrating its superiority to drawing offer much more detail and ease of production.

Reproduced / Exhibited

Getty Object Number: 84.XB.1444

References

Rousseau, Louis-François-Emmanuel, Achille Deveìria, Adolphe P. Riffaut, Joseph Lemercier, and Louis-Ameìdeìe Mante. [recueil. Photographies Positives Et  Impressions
Photomeìcaniques. Oeuvre De Louis Rousseau]. S.l: s.n,. 1853

Bann, Stephen. “Photographie Et Reproduction Gravée: L’ Économie Visuelle Au Xixe Siècle.” Etudes Photographiques / Société Française De Photographie. (2001): 22-43. Print.

Comptes Rendus Hebdomodaires des Sceances de I’Academie des Sciences, Note sur la gravure heliograptiique sur plaque d’acier. C. F- A. Niepce de Saint-Victor (May 23, 1853)

Correspondence between Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce, at Chalons, and M. Lemaitre, engraver at Paris, La Lumière, 1851, n. 1-9. Letter, January 1, 1827.

Eder, Josef M, and Edward Epstean. History of Photography. New York: Dover Publications, 1978.

Frizot, Michel, Aubenas, Sylvie The Photograph in Print, Multiplication and Stability of the Image. A New History of Photography, 1999

Gernsheim, Helmut. The Origins of Photography. London: Thames and Hudson, 1982 p. 37

Hammann, J.-M.-Herman. Des Arts Graphiques Destinés a Multiplier Par L’impression: Considérés Sous Le Double Point De Vue Historique Et Pratique. Genève [etc.: JoëlCherbuliez, 1857 P. 451

Rosen, Jeff. “Naming and Framing ‘Nature’ In Photographie Zoologique.” Word & Image. 13.4 (1997): 377-391.

Rosen, Jeff The Printed Photograph and the Logic of Progress in Nineteenth-Century France Jeff Rosen Art Journal, Vol. 46, No. 4, The Political Unconscious in Nineteenth-Century Art (Winter, 1987), pp. 305-311

The Evolution of the Modern Lens. Address of the President, Mr. T. R. Dallmeyer, F. R. A. S., Etc., before the Royal Photographic Society, London, October 9, 1900. Reprinted from “The Photographic News.” (Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin, Volume 31: 384).

Thierry Laugée, "Zoological Photography, Achille Devéria and Louis Rousseau", BNF Review 2017/1 (No. 54), p. 120-129

Translation of Niépce de St. Victor article from the 31 October 1853 issue of La Lumièreon heliographic engraving on steel plates appears in The Photographic and Fine Art Journal [7:3 (March), pp. 76-77] and later that year in Humphrey’s Journal[6:16 (Dec. 1), pp. 241-45].

Towler, John. The Silver Sunbeam. Joseph H. Ladd, New York: 1864 CH 40

The Photographic News. Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, October 19, 1900.

Bann, Stephen. “Photographie Et Reproduction Gravée: L’ Économie Visuelle Au Xixe Siècle.” Etudes Photographiques / Société Française De Photographie. (2001): 22-43. Print.

Comptes Rendus Hebdomodaires des Sceances de I’Academie des Sciences, Note sur la gravure heliograptiique sur plaque d’acier. C. F- A. Niepce de Saint-Victor (May 23, 1853)

Correspondence between Joseph-Nicéphore Niépce, at Chalons, and M. Lemaitre, engraver at Paris, La Lumière, 1851, n. 1-9. Letter, January 1, 1827.

Eder, Josef M, and Edward Epstean. History of Photography. New York: Dover Publications, 1978.

Frizot, Michel, Aubenas, Sylvie The Photograph in Print, Multiplication and Stability of the Image. A New History of Photography, 1999

Gernsheim, Helmut. The Origins of Photography. London: Thames and Hudson, 1982 p. 37

Hammann, J.-M.-Herman. Des Arts Graphiques Destinés a Multiplier Par L’impression: Considérés Sous Le Double Point De Vue Historique Et Pratique. Genève [etc.: JoëlCherbuliez, 1857 P. 451

Rosen, Jeff. “Naming and Framing ‘Nature’ In Photographie Zoologique.” Word & Image. 13.4 (1997): 377-391.

Rosen, Jeff The Printed Photograph and the Logic of Progress in Nineteenth-Century France Jeff Rosen Art Journal, Vol. 46, No. 4, The Political Unconscious in Nineteenth-Century Art (Winter, 1987), pp. 305-311

The Evolution of the Modern Lens. Address of the President, Mr. T. R. Dallmeyer, F. R. A. S., Etc., before the Royal Photographic Society, London, October 9, 1900. Reprinted from “The Photographic News.” (Anthony’s Photographic Bulletin, Volume 31: 384).

Translation of Niépce de St. Victor article from the 31 October 1853 issue of La Lumièreon heliographic engraving on steel plates appears in The Photographic and Fine Art Journal [7:3 (March), pp. 76-77] and later that year in Humphrey’s Journal[6:16 (Dec. 1), pp. 241-45].

Towler, John. The Silver Sunbeam. Joseph H. Ladd, New York: 1864 CH 40

The Photographic News. Place of publication not identified: publisher not identified, October 19, 1900.

Thierry Laugée, "Zoological Photography, Achille Devéria and Louis Rousseau", BNF Review 2017/1 (No. 54), p. 120-129