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Photograph - Rheims Cathedral, France
  • Rheims Cathedral, France
    Bisson, Louis Auguste, born 1814 - died 1876
  • Enlarge image

Rheims Cathedral, France

  • Object:

    Photograph

  • Place of origin:

    Rheims (photographed)

  • Date:

    ca. 1850-1860 (photographed)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Bisson, Louis Auguste, born 1814 - died 1876 (photographer)
    Bisson, Auguste Rosalie, born 1826 - died 1900 (photographer)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Albumen print from wet collodion on glass negative

  • Museum number:

    3173-1955

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level F, case X, shelf 461

During the 1850s, photographic technology advanced considerably. Glass negatives -
rather than earlier paper ones - attained a level of detail previously unseen. However, the choice of lenses was still limited, negatives were sensitive to a relatively narrow tonal range and over-sensitive to the colour blue. Consequently, many architectural photographers excluded a building's setting, such as the sky or surrounding constructions. The resulting concentration upon details, as in this image, was often both an aesthetic choice and a matter of technical necessity.

Physical description

Photograph of Gothic cathedral entrance front doorways.

Place of Origin

Rheims (photographed)

Date

ca. 1850-1860 (photographed)

Artist/maker

Bisson, Louis Auguste, born 1814 - died 1876 (photographer)
Bisson, Auguste Rosalie, born 1826 - died 1900 (photographer)

Materials and Techniques

Albumen print from wet collodion on glass negative

Dimensions

Height: 45.4 cm, Width: 37.7 cm, Height: 57.8 cm sheet, Width: 46.8 cm sheet

Descriptive line

Photograph of Gothic cathedral entrance front doorways by Louise Auguste and Auguste Rosalie Bisson, made in Rheims, ca. 1850-1860.

Labels and date

During the 1850s, photographic technology advanced considerably. Glass negatives -
rather than earlier paper ones - attained a level of detail previously unseen. However, the choice of lenses was still limited, negatives were sensitive to a relatively narrow tonal range and over-sensitive to the colour blue. Consequently, many architectural photographers excluded a building's setting, such as the sky or surrounding constructions. The resulting concentration upon details, as in this image, was often both an aesthetic choice and a matter of technical necessity. [22/09/2004]
Bisson Frères: Louis-Auguste (1814–76) and Auguste-Rosalie (1826–1900)
Four Views of Reims Cathedral
About 1855

The Architectural Photographic Association’s first exhibition included work by Bisson Frères. The Building News noted that these ‘magnificent works’ would provide ‘a fine example of the value of photography to architecture’, unlike ‘the picturesque bits from Tintern Abbey with more ivy than architecture’.
[44 words]

Reims Cathedral, Cloisters
Albumen print
Museum no. 35:832

Reims Cathedral, Figures on the West Front Portal
Albumen print
Museum no. 35:844

Reims Cathedral, Front Doorway
Albumen print
Museum no. 3173-1955

Reims Cathedral, Portal on the North Side
Albumen print
Museum no. 35:865 []

Techniques

Albumen process

Subjects depicted

Cathedrals

Categories

Photographs; Architecture

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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