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21 juillet 2011 4 21 /07 /juillet /2011 08:09

This most famous reproduction of the First Photograph was based upon the March 1952 print, produced at Helmut Gernsheim's request by the Research Laboratory of the Eastman Kodak Company in Harrow. The pointillistic effect is due to the reproduction process and is not present in the original heliograph. Gernsheim himself spent eleven hours on March 20, 1952, touching up with watercolors one of the prints of the Kodak reproduction. His attempt was meant to bring the heliograph as close as possible to a positive representation of how he felt Niépce intended the original should appear. It is this version of the image which would become the accepted reproduction of the image for the next fifty years.

The view, made from an upper, rear window of the Niépce family home in Burgundy, in the village of Saint-Loup-de-Varennes near Chalon-sur-Saône. Representationally the subject matter includes [from left to right]: the upper loft (or, so-called "pigeon-house") of the family home; a pear tree with a patch of sky showing through an opening in the branches; the slanting roof of the barn, with the long roof and low chimney of the bake house behind it; and, on the right, another wing of the family house. Details in the original image are very faint, due not to fading—the heliographic process is a relatively permanent one—but rather to Niepce's underexposure of the original plate.

Another retouched reproduction of the First Photograph.

Helmut Gernsheim & Kodak Research Laboratory, Harrow, England.
Gelatin silver print with applied watercolor reproduction of
Joseph Nicéphore Niépce's View from the Window at Le Gras.
March 20-21, 1952.
Gelatin silver print and watercolor.
20.3 x 25.4 cm.



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