"In the month of May, 1856, the Imperial Government opened in Paris the first universal agricultural competition which had been held in France. It would be useful to seize this opportunity to have the best types of foreign breeding reproduced in an album. Mr. Baudement, professor of zootechnics at the Conservatoire des arts et métiers and member of the jury, was in charge of this publication and associated himself with ‘excellent artists for these reproductions’ (taken from the dedication). A multitude of renowned artists and engravers collaborated in the enterprise which lasted almost 10 years from 1856 to 1864. Complete with 87 fine plates of cattle races. The plates are based on photographs by Adrien Tournachon ("Nadar jeune") (i.e. Adrien Tournachon, half brother of Félix Nadar), which interpreted in pencil by animal artists or sculptors and then reproduced by a mixed process of heliography (photogravure – Niepce Saint-Victor method) followed by handwork of various kinds – soft ground etching, mezzotint and aquatint, the background tint being achieved by lithography by A. Riffaut (the known collaborator of Niepce de Saint-Victor), Ch. Nègre, and others.
A landmark in the early integration of photography onto the printed page.