The following essays offer a deeper look at topics related to the history of photogravure. To read, them simply download the PDFs. Many thanks to the scholars who have contributed to this site.
The Beginnings of Photogravure in Nineteenth-Century France, by Malcolm Daniel, Curator in Charge, Department of Photography Curator of Special Projects, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX.
Etchings of Light: Talbot and Photogravure, by Dr. Larry Schaaf, renowned William Henry Fox Talbot expert and founder and director of The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot Archives.
Report of the Commission of the French Photographic Society, an 1868 summary of the contestants and progress of the ongoing Duc de Luynes competition.
A Process of Selection: Édouard Baldus, the New Louvre Photographs and Palais du Louvre et des Tuileries, Addleman-Frankel emphasizes the significance of Édouard Baldus’ photogravure production in the mid-nineteenth century. She specifically looks at his 1866 book, Palais du Louvre et des Tuileries. Motifs de decoration, in which he reproduced his own photographs as photogravures.
Naming and framing ‘Nature’ in Photographie Zoologique, Jeff Rosen explores the objectivity of photography as it was applied to science in the 1853 publication of Photographie Zoologique, Ou Représentation Des Animaux Rares Des Collections Du Muséum D’histoire Naturelle, the first scientific work to be illustrated with photogravures.
The Clarence H. White School of Photography, Bonnie Yochelson offers an excellent summary of Clarence White’s seminal school and considers pictorialist to modernist photographic trends in America in the 1920s.
Graphic Arts Intended to Multiply by Printing, Considered from Both the Historical and Practical Point of View, JM Hermann Hammann’s comprehensive 1857 account of photographic engraving and other methods used to reproduce photographic images in ink.
“The Photographs of Alvin Langdon Coburn at George Eastman Museum: A Characterization Study of Materials and Techniques,” Valentina Branchini offers an in-depth study of Alvin Langdon Coburn’s collection at the George Eastman Museum in an effort to describe Coburn’s working methods and printing techniques.
Paul Pretsch, Photogalvanography and Photographic Art Treasures, Paul William Morgan’s comprehensive essay on Photogalvanography, detailing the story of the first published photographic art portfolio in ink, Photographic Art Treasures.
Joseph Berres, “Photogenic Etching,” 5 September 1840, a transcription of Joseph Berres’ essay describing his experimentation with heliographic etching.
La Lumière, copies of the “Revue de la Photographie: Beaux-Arts, Héliographie, Sciences” section of La Lumière from October 7, 1854, October 21, 1854, and December 23, 1854.
“The Printed Photograph and the Logic of Progress in Nineteenth-Century France,” using Benjamin’s theory of photographic technology as a jumping off point, Jeff Rosen questions “how mass-produced photography was distinguished from earlier forms of reproduction.” Rosen uses two versions of a photograph by Henri LeSecq, one calotype original and one photolithograph printed by Rose-Joseph Lemercier, to explore the “historical factors influencing the development of photography as an industrial process.”
“Time Traveling through Truth and Beauty: ‘Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art: 1845 to 1945’,” William Thomas’ review of the Vancouver Art Gallery exhibition, “Pictorialism and the Photograph as Art: 1845 to 1945.” Thomas offers his readers a brief account of the histories of photography and of photographic technologies, focusing on the contentious intersection of Pictorialism and the “blindness of precision” necessitated by the camera. Thomas dedicates a section to the Stieglitz, Camera Work and Camera Notes, describing the influential photogravures displayed in the exhibition.
D’Encre et de Charbon, the exhibition catalogue for 1994 exhibition “D’Encre et de Charbon: Le Concours Photographique du Duc de Luynes 1856–1867” put on by the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and the Société Française de Photographie.
“On the Application of Photography to Printing,” in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine 13, no. 76 (1856), an article about the importance of being able to reproduce photographs in scientific books, specifically in regards to Dr. John W. Draper illustrations of his work on human physiology and typography.
“Graphic Versus Photographic in the Nineteenth-Century Reproduction,” in Art History 9, no. 2 (June 1986), Trevor Fawcett’s thorough essay fleshes out the history of truth, technology, reproduction, and visual fidelity, specifically in regards to graphic and photographic reproductions.
“Photography and the ‘Modern’ Point of View: A Speculation in the History of Taste,” published in 1928 by the Metropolitan Museum. Curator William M. Ivins, Jr. goes through the multifaceted history of the photogravure.
“Photography and Photogravure: History of Photomechanical Reproduction,” a 1969 article in The Journal of Photographic Science in which curator Eugene Ostroff tackles Talbot’s invaluable contributions to the history of photomechanical reproduction.
Paul Pretsch and Photo-galvanography, Major-General J. Waterhouse, I.A. focuses on the work and contributions of Paul Pretsch, demonstrating that Pretsch deserves “fuller recognition and reward.”
“Photogravure,” in Platinum Print: A Journal for Personal Expression, Alvin Langdon Coburn briefly discusses the history of the photogravure and describes some pertinent technical information. While explaining the aesthetic merits of the process, he pronounces the photogravure and the platinum print to be “two most satisfactory ways of rending a photographic negative.”