Jules Paton praises these beautiful photographs in the preface: "What the public does not know is to what exposure time you reduced the photographic reproduction: 1/250e of Second! Hence the stunning accuracy of the precision instrument. Nothing escapes him from all the details". Although not captioned, the heliogravures feature illustrious characters such as Monsieur and Madame Ravaut, Marshal de Mac-Mahon, Kerdel, the Duke of Nemours, the Duchess of Uzès , the Duc de la Trémoille, the Prince de Joinville, and others.
Louis-Jean Delton, a man singularly obsessed with horses, had the good luck to live in an era when horseflesh was prized, and good equestrian form matched with an elegant riding outfit were signs of good breeding, or considerable wealth. The fashionable place for Parisians to ride was the bois du Boulogne. "here Delton, who photographed nothing but horses and riders, set up his open air studio in 1860 setting himself up as an equestrian photographer in Paris under the name Delton J. & Cie. Although he photographed a range of individuals, from clowns to European royalty, his accomplished images of animals were the works that gained him renown. Around 1886 Delton dropped the "& Cie" from his trade name and began to produce albums of animal photographs. From 1889 until 1894, he published a newspaper in which he reproduced many of his own horse-racing images. After moving to Nice in 1896, Delton made photographic studies of stopped motion for a book advertising artificial light.
These plates reproduce their instantaneous photos of Parisian society. One plate of an "amazone" may be a studio portrait taken against a cleverly painted backdrop. (Mennessier 1:381). Although not captioned, the heliogravures include famous figures such as Mr. and Mrs. Ravaut, Marshal MacMahon, Kerdel, the Duke of Nemours, Duchess of Uzes, the Duke of Trémoille, Prince de Joinville, and others. 25 Plates
"One day will come, nave no doubts, when the collectioners, the historians, the moralists, will purchase at auctions for the price of gold, this ‘Tour of the Bois sketched from nature, in the aristocratic movement of the promenade on horseback…", Delton. Imagining Paradise P. 161
Collections: musée d’Orsay
Foster, Sheila J. Imagining Paradise: The Richard and Ronay Menschel Library at George Eastman House, Rochester. Rochester, NY: George Eastman House, 2007.