sexta-feira, 23 de novembro de 2018

Jules Itier daguerreotypes

In 1838, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre (1787- 1851) published a leaflet in Paris to advertise his invention: the daguerreotype. This was a photographic process that produced a single positive picture (image) on a highly polished silvered copper plate surface exposed in a camera obscura (dark chamber).
Daguerre was a painter, lithographer and set designer.He was an assistant to the artist Pierre Prévost, and it was through the latter’s panoramas that Daguerre was initiated into the art of camera obscura between 1807 and 1815.
The invention of the daguerreotype was officially announced by François Arago, physicist and politician, on 7 January 1839 at a session of the Academy of Sciences in Paris. That date is usually deemed to be the official birth of photography, but the revolutionary process behind the invention was only divulged on 19 August 1839, again by Arago, to the leading lights of both the Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Arts.
The very first person to describe this remarkable invention in the American press was Robert Walsh Jr, an American correspondent in Paris who related his visit to Daguerre’s workshop in a letter to the New-York American dated 5 March 1839:
On 19 October 1839, only two months after Arago revealed the revolutionary process, an English language newspaper based at Macau, The Canton Press, reprinted Robert Walsh’s letter to the New-York American of 5 March 1839 in full about the newly invented daguerreotype camera:
"On the 3rd instant, by special favour, I was admitted to M. Daguerre’s laboratory, and passed an hour in contemplating his drawings. It would be impossible for me to express the admiration which they produced. I can convey to you no idea of the exquisite perfection of the copies of objects and scenes, effected in ten minutes by the action of simple solar light upon his papiers sensibles. There is one view of the river Seine, bridges, quays, great edifices, etc., taken under a rainy sky, the graphic truth of which astonished and delighted me beyond measure. No human hand ever did or could trace such a copy. This time required for this work was nearly an hour - that is, proportional to the difference of light.
Daguerre is a gentleman of middle stature, robust frame, and highly expressive countenance. He explained the progression of his experiments, and vindicated his exclusive property in the development and successful application of the idea, with a voluble and clear detail of facts and arguments. To the suggestion, that the exhibition in United States, of the collection of his drawings, might yield a ‘handsome sum’, he answered that the French Government would soon, probably, buy his secret from him, and thus gratify his wish—the unlimited diffusion and employment of his discovery. The sum which the Academy of Sciences asks for him, is 200,000 francs. He had already acquired great fame as the painter of the Diorama."

A few years later, between 1844 and 1845,
Jules Itier was at Southern China; Canton (now Guangzhou), Whampoa (now Huangpu), and Macao, and made the daguerreotypes that are considered to be the earliest photographic images identified in China.

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