The AMICA Library
AMICA Library Year:
1812 - 1877
Adolphe Braun French, 1812-1877Adolphe Braun, a French textile designer born in Besançon and trained in Paris, opened his own studio in Dornach, Alsace, before becoming involved in photography in the early 1850s. He produced several early floral textile designs that were published as lithographs. In 1853 Braun began work on a large album of some 300 photographic still-life studies of flowers, intended as aids for artists in the field of decorative arts. The work met with such success at the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris that he left the field of design for photography. Braun's carefully executed still lifes are considered to be among the finest ever done. From the mid-1850s on, Braun's firm, Adolphe Braun et Cie., later headed by his son Gaston (1845?1928), became one of the world's largest studios and publishers of topographical views and of reproductions of works of art. In the latter effort, their importance was in part due to Gaston's success with the orthochromatic process, in which photographic reproductions retained a tonal range very close to that of the original work of art. Braun et Cie. were the official photographers to Napoléon III and Pope Pius IX. Their reproductions of works in the Louvre, the Sistine Chapel, and many other subjects in architecture, sculpture, painting, and drawing, sometimes using the more permanent carbon or Woodburytype processes, were offered in all sizes and formats, and became the standard in their field. The number of negatives taken by the Brauns or their operators was variously estimated in 1870 to be between 4,000 and 8,000. The Brauns were members of the Société française de photographie. Both were awarded the French Legion of Honor-Adolphe in 1860, and Gaston in 1892. T.W.F.
Creator Birth Place:
Besançon, France 7/13/1812
Creator Death Place:
Dornach, France 12/31/1877
Landscape with Glacier
Switzerland. Grindelwald, Upper Glacier, Source of the Lutschine
Suisse. Grindelwald, glacier supérieur, source de la Lutschine
Creation Start Date:
Creation End Date:
Materials and Techniques:
Carbon, print, toned, from wet collodion negative
Sheet: 0cm x 50.7cm, Image: 38.74cm x 48.26cm, Framed: 59.06cm x 74.3cm
The Cleveland Museum of Art
Cleveland, Ohio, USA
The A. W. Ellenberger, Sr., Endowment Fund
Written in pencil on verso: "3/8"; "318"; "D [?]"
The Braun Archives; Joachim Bonnemaison, Paris
Braun's photographs often bore a stylistic resemblance to realist painting in France. Photography was an important factor in the evolution of realism, a style that was then gaining popularity. With its forthright depiction of natural forces, this photograph of a river springing from a glacier clearly recalls landscape paintings by Gustave Courbet (1819-1877). Courbet's numerous river scenes were contemporary with Braun's work and were part of the esthetic context of the time.
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