Detail View: The AMICA Library: Cleveland

AMICA Library Year: 
Object Type: 
Creator Name: 
Bisson, Louis-Auguste
Creator Nationality: 
European; French
Creator Role: 
Creator Dates/Places: 
1814 - 1876
Bisson FrèresLouis-Auguste Bisson French, 1814 - 1876; and Auguste-Rosalie Bisson French, 1826 - 1900Bisson Frères -- consisting of brothers Louis-Auguste and Auguste-Rosalie Bisson, also known as the Bissons âiné and jeune (older and younger) -- was oneof the most celebrated and widely known French photographic studios and publishing houses of the 19th century. Begun by their father, a heraldic painter, the Bissons' first studio opened in Paris in 1841, shortly after the invention of the daguerreotype. Louis-Auguste, a student of architecture and chemistry, learned photography directly from Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre and went on to advance the medium through a number of inventions and techniques, contributions for which the brothers received considerable praise. He retired from the business in 1865. Auguste-Rosalie, perhaps the better known of the two, was responsible for some of their more spectacular photographic successes, including the first closeup views of the peaks of Mt. Blanc (1861). Among the Bissons' many accomplishments and honors were a set of 900 daguerreotypes of the members of the French National Assembly, which were later published in lithographic copies; their appointment as official photographers to Napoléon III and Pope Pius IX; their role as founding members of the Société française de photographie; and their numerous and much-admired series of landscape, architectural, and portrait photographs. After his brother's retirement, Auguste-Rosalie continued to work in photography, including a voyage to Egypt in 1869 and views of the Siege of Paris in 1871. As late as 1900, the year of his death, he patented a heliochrome process for the printing of photographs in color with ink. T.W.F.
Creator Name-CRT: 
Louis-Auguste Bisson
Title Type: 
Full View
Creation Date: 
c. 1842-1843
Creation Start Date: 
Creation End Date: 
Materials and Techniques: 
Classification Term: 
Image: 8.1cm x 10.9cm
AMICA Contributor: 
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: 
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 
Credit Line: 
Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund
Written in brown ink on recto: "Cleveland"; in brown ink on verso: "DAGUERRÉOTYPÉ/PAR/BISSON, [signed]/No. 65, rue St. Germain/L'Auxerroir/à Paris."
Louis-Auguste Bisson's Cleveland is an outstanding example of the artistry of the French daguerreotype, aided by recent technical advances. Between 1839 and 1841, for example, exposure times had been reduced from fifteen minutes to one or two minutes. This descriptive portrait of the famous dark bay English stallion "Cleveland" is a rare example of the small group of daguerreotypes of horses made by Bisson, who launched the 19th-century tradition of horse portrait photography. The profile pose allowedthe photographer to document the anatomical details of the horse, its physiognomy, and breeding. This unusual outdoor picture is a testament to Bisson's technical ability, the speed of the exposure, and the horse's willingness to stand still.
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