L’arc de Triomphe Various

This is likely the first book claiming to be illustrated with lithographs based on the new art of photography. It is an early attempt to capitalize on the hype surrounding the new invention of photography. However the work of the lithographic artist was emphasized and the picturesque character of the views was given a strong prominence making their derivation from daguerreotypes seem rather suspect and doubtful. The sixty lithographs show scenes in Paris and Versailles. Each plate is entitled "Paris Daguerreotype," with the location and name of the lithographer given below. All the journals and illustrations published under the direction of Charles Philipon ap­pealed to the lower and middle classes. Originally a political satirist, Philipon later turned to social com­mentary. In touch with his time, he knew that photog­raphy would seriously impair his business of publishing periodicals illustrated by lithography. The title "Paris Daguerreotype," was probably an attempt to capitalize on the public interest and excitement engendered by the new medium, although he never actually made use of it. It is not uncommon to find the term "daguerreotype" used in political satire of the period as a parody on veracity. [1]

Philipon’s book, Paris et ses environs reproduits par le daguerreotype, exists as a footnote in only a few of the main histories of photography, and is generally discussed alongside Nicholas-Marie Lerebours’s better known Excursions daguerriennes with books contain prints made after daguerreotypes, but Lerebours’s plates are considered more successful approximations, because of their general appearance of photographic realism. [2]


[1] Newhall, Beaumont Image Magazine The Bulletin of the George Eastman House of Photography, Volume 11, no. 6 1962

[2] Howe, Kathleen S. Intersections: Lithography, Photography, and the Traditions of Printmaking. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1998. p.5.

Bonetti, Maria Francesca, Daguerreian Pictures. From Silver To Paper, lstituto Nazionale per la Grafica, Rome Daguerreotype Journal, June 2014