Nov 2, 2007

Portrait of a Young Boy

Portrait of a Young Boy

c. 1848

Louis-Adolphe Humbert de Molard

(French, 1800–1874)

Salted paper print from albumen on glass negative

Image: 23.2 x 17.1 cm (9 1/8 x 6 3/4 in.); Paper: 23.6 x 17.7 cm (9 5/16 x 6 15/16 in.); Matted: 50.8 x 40.6 cm (20 x 16 in.)

John L. Severance Fund 1998.9



Baron Humbert de Molard, a wealthy amateur, began taking daguerreotypes of his friends, family, and servants in 1843. The following year he became one of the earliest Frenchmen to experiment with paper print processes. This salted paper print was made from a glass-plate negative sensitized with albumen. The stiff pose, placement of the subject’s hands, and glaring gaze are likely due to the long exposure time required by those materials. They imbue a young boy with the gravity and formality of a much older man.

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