Alphonse De Launay City Hall of Seville, Spain
Medium Albumenized salt print from a paper negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1854 Print Date 1854
Dimensions 9-5/8 x 14 in. (244 x 356 mm)
Photo Country Spain
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Besides being stunningly beautiful, this building was the city hall of Seville. The fountain, carriage and blurs of people add to the mystery of the image. Provenance: family of photographer.
Alphonse De Launay was born in 1827 in Manche, which is the most westerly Département of Normandy in France. He traveled to Spain and Algiers in 1851 and 1854, and the paper negatives that he made there amazed many of his contemporaries in photography. De Launay was undoubtedly a student of the noted French artist-photographer Gustave Le Gray and may have known several other photographers, including other Le Gray students, F.E. Le Dien and Theodore de Banville. De Launay's work in Algeria and Tunisia had been confused with Le Dien's work until just recently when images attributed to Le Dien appeared with De Launey's signature on them. His early larger photographs were paper negatives, probably waxed in the Le Gray style, that were then printed by Le Gray or his studio as albumenized salt prints. De Launay joined the Societe Francaise de Photographie (S.F.P.) in 1858, and he reportedly (in contemporary accounts by noted French art critic Philippe Burty) exhibited four portraits there in 1859, although the name reported then was Delaunay and might be another photographer's work. He died in 1906.
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