Victor Hugo Walery (Stanislaw Julian Ignacy)  (British, 1830-1890)

Goupil stopped producing Woodburytypes at the beginning of the 1880’s. Meanwhile, Rousselon had perfected another photomechanical process, the photogravure. This was another demonstration of Goupil’s modernity: constant experimentation and refinement of technologies, developed ln-nouse. Rousselon was encouraged to work on a photomechanical process compatible with intaglio printing. Capitalizing on Woodbury discoveries, he found a way to obtain a special grain on the dichromate gelatin, suitable for retaining ink. This grain appeared on the subsequent lead mold, which was itself copied on a copper plate by electrotyping. Rousselon presented his process at the Societe Francaise de Photographie in 1872 (seven years before Karl Klic’s process), and Goupil released his first photogravures in 1873. The results were superb; no other firm ever achieved such quality and accuracy, neither in Europe nor in the United States. The process earned many awards in international exhibitions throughout the decade. Thousands of photogravures reproducing artworks were mass-produced, along with a few topographical photographs, such as those illustrating Auguste Mariette’s Voyage dans la Haute Egypte (1878). Other publishers, especially Americans (Gebbie & Barrie, and Appleton), commissioned photogravure printing from Goupil; in the United States, the process was often called "Goupilgravure." As with any intaglio, these could be printed with several colors, offering dramatic results. After forming the most significant part of the media explosion of the 19th century, reproductive prints and photographs, sold either as individual plates, or in series or portfolios, had virtually disappeared, a circumstance fraught with consequences for the dissemination of art, as well as its production. [1] [2]

This version of the photogravure includes the notation "printed on the Hess Press’ in addition to "Photogravure Goupil & Co." whereas another version lacks the Hess Press notation. This version also appears to have retained better highlight detail, implying it was printed earlier in the run or from a fresh plate.

Great men and famous women; a series of pen and pencil sketches of the lives of more than 200 of the most prominent personages in history Vol. VII.

Reproduced / Exhibited

Hanson, David A. Checklist of Photomechanical Processes and Printing, 1825-1910. , 2017. p. 121.


[1] Hanson, David Checklist of photomechanical processes and printing 1825-1910, 2017 p. 121

[2] Pierre-Lin Renie, ​Hannavy John. Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-Century Photography. New York NY: Routledge. 2008. p 603