Untitled Poitevin, Alphonse  (French, 1822-1912)

Alphonse Poitevin (1819-1882). Le Louvre, pavillon Sully , Paris, vers 1855. Bears on the back the handwritten note: : Photographie provenant de mon grand père Alphonse Poitevin faite par lui d’après ses procédés et offerte par son petit fils Jean Poitevin à Lisette Baudet le 3 septembre 1933. Photograph from my grandfather Alphonse Poitevin made by him according to his processes and offered by his grandson Jean Poitevin to Lisette Baudet on September 3, 1933.

For more than 35 years, Poitevin experimented with chemical and mechanical processes in search of a printable and longer-lasting photograph. He recognized early on that photography had the potential to revolutionize how mass-produced books were illustrated. His work brought that revolution about, creating the first practical process for printing photographs, as illustrations within books, on an industrial scale.

While the exact process of this print has yet to be determined, it shows characteristics of an early experimental dichromated pigment gelatin print.