Louis Lafon Front and Back of Presentation Ceramic (Two Prints)
Medium Salt prints
Photo Date 1880s Print Date 1880s
Dimensions 15-5/8 x 10-3/8 in. (397 x 264 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
This earthenware ceramic piece was probably made for the Paris Salon of 1882 (date on one of the two pieces Lafon shot in the same format) by Hippolyte Boulenger et Cie., Choisy-le-Roy, France. It was probably created by Louis Carrier Belleuse. He worked with his father at the Manufacture de Sèvres, who became the artistic director there after 1875. In 1877, he acquired with Théodore Deck his first experience of ceramic work and participated in the contest of Sèvres in 1882, which is another possibility for this item's production. He designed models for Faïencerie of Choisy-le-Roi, where he became in 1889 the artistic director.
The French photographer Louis Lafon photographed primarily industrial and architectural subjects, and won a medal for his submissions to the 1874 exhibition of the Société Française de Photographie. He made later salt prints of elegant porcelain pieces from the Faïencerie of Choisy-le-Roi.
In 1870 Lafon was commissioned to document the Hotchkiss line of military equipment. Lafon's work differs from many product albums of the day as his showed the goods in operation; his photographs showed French soldiers and sailors demonstrating the guns in action.
He also took photographs of the Paris Commune of 1871. Unlike many other photographers, Lafon's work is more purely documentary, avoiding the picturesque qualities of other photographers to focus on the straightforward devastation instead.
In 1878 he produced images for the Compagnie des Chemins de Fer de l'Ouest and in 1879 the Dol-de-Bretagne-Lamballe Railway. His large photographs of construction on the bridges and viaducts for the railroad companies are extraordinary, ranging up to mammoth-plate size.
His studio was located on rue de Belleville in Paris.
His work is in the collections of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Museum of Modern Art, George Eastman House, Princeton University Library, New York Public Library and Boston Museum of Fine Arts, among others.
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