Julien Vallou de Villeneuve Portrait of an Actor (M. Samson)
Medium Salt print from paper negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1850c Print Date 1850c
Dimensions 7-3/8 x 5-1/4 in. (187 x 133 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
From a series of actors by Villeneuve. Written in pencil across the center of the photograph's verso is the name "Samson." M. Samson is dressed in an eighteenth century costume and wig holding a glass of wine. Provenance: Andre Jammes Sotheby's sale.
Julien Vallou de Villeneuve (December 12, 1795 in Boissy-Saint-Léger – May 4, 1866 in Paris) was a French painter, lithographer and photographer. Vallou de Villeneuve studied with Jean-François Millet, and started his career at the Salon of 1814, exhibiting images depicting daily life, fashion, regional costumes and nude photographs. In the 1820s and 30s he developed an international following for his folio-sized lithographic erotic series Les Jeunes Femmes, depicting racy episodes in the life of young women and their lovers.
From 1842 Villeneuve took up the camera, first producing daguerreotypes and then softly toned salted paper prints from paper negatives of the same subject matter. He moved to Paris in 1850, founding the Société française de photographie in 1854. He was also a member of the Société héliographique. Realist painter Gustave Courbet was introduced to his photographs by fellow artist Alfred Bruyas during the 1850s and used them as source material for his paintings, in particular L'Atelier (1855) and Les Baigneuses (1853). No photographs by him after 1855 are recorded.
Vallou de Villeneuve is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery.
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