Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon Portrait of M. Ernest Mallet
Medium Salt print
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1850s Print Date 1850s
Dimensions 9-3/4 x 7-1/4 in. (248 x 184 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Framed in period gold leaf frame. A very rich print in excellent condition. With Adam-Salomon's pedestal.
According to an old ink French inscription on the verso of the frame from about the 1920s, Ernest Mallet was born in Amiens on June 12, 1820 and died in Dinard on August 7, 1887. He was buried at Fontainebleau. He was the brother of Mme. Charles de Borny, 1809-1894). The inscription says the photograph was made about 1860, but I suspect a few years earlier.
He was part of a noted banking family ruled by his father of the same name. Mallet was a member of the French National Guard in 1848.
Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon (January 9, 1818 –April 28, 1881) was a French sculptor and photographer. Adam-Salomon became a leading portrait photographer after studying under the portraitist Franz Hanfstaengl in Munich in 1858. Adam-Salomon opened a portrait studio in Paris in 1859, and in 1865 he opened a second Paris studio. In 1870 he was made a member of the Société française de photographie and received the Légion d’honneur the same year. Adam-Salomon's portrait photographs were considered to be among the best examples in existence during his lifetime, and were renowned for their chiaroscuro produced by special lighting techniques. The photography of Adam-Salomon played a pivotal role in the mainstream acceptance of photography as an art form. For example, in 1858 the poet Alphonse de Lamartine described photography as "this chance invention which will never be art, but only a plagiarism of nature through a lens." A short time later, after seeing the photographic work of Adam-Solomon, Lamartine reversed his claim. A great believer in draping, side-lighting, and retouching, he collaborated with Carjat, Nadar, and others, in the seven volumes of the Galerie des Contemporains published in France in the 1850s.
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