The Photographers Carlos Relvas and Louis Alphonse Davanne’s copy
La Photographie, ses origines, ses progrès, ses transformations
Lille, imprimerie L. Danel, 1869.
4to (310 x 235 mm) 2 unn.ll., 61 pp., 14 photographic plates (in various photographic printing procedures). Contemporary green roan backed boards, front cover with gilt title within triple gilt border and other decorations in blind, spine gilt with raised bands, speckled edges (binding signed Lisboa & Companhia).
30 000 

In stock

First edition.

The work La Photographie, ses origines, ses transformations is considered a precise and fundamental work for the history of the first three decades of photography. Illustrated with contemporary examples collected by the author, it contains a discussion of the genesis of photomechanical printing and photo-typographic illustration.

This is the first work on these new methods which would result in letterpress printing with the same quality as photographic printing. Blanquart-Evrard clearly understood that ink-based imagery would eventually completely replace silver-based printing in all future books.

This copy contains the following photographic images

  1. Phototype, printed in Lille in 1852 and illustrating the work by Maxime Du Camp on Egypt, Nubia, Palestine and Syria. (pp.26/27)
  2. Photolithography after Poitevin (pp. 32-33).
  3. Photolithography after the method by Zurcher, depicting the Wellington (pp.40/41).
  4. Photolithography after the method by Zurcher taken from Gavarni’s Works (pp. 40/41).
  5. Salt print by Goupil repdroducing a painting (“La Grande Soeur”) by Bougereau (pp. 42/43).
  6. Photogravure (“Vue de la Galerie des Beaux-Arts ») after the method by Garnier (pp. 42/43).
  7. Heliogravure (« La Force ») after the method by Baldus (pp. 42/43).
  8. Another Héliogravure after the Method by Baldus (“Morceau de reception d’Étienne Falconet”) (pp. 42/43).
  9. Facsimile reproduction of a manuscript (pp. 42/43).
  10. Relief photogravure (« Vue du Baptistère Louis XIII ») after the method by Garnier (pp. 42/43)
  11. Relief photogravure (« Plafond du Louvre ») after the method by Garnier (pp. 44/45).
  12. Carbon print (“portrait d’après nature ») after the method by Ernest Edwards, London (pp. 46/47).
  13. Facsimile of a drawing by Raphael («La Vierge et l’enfant») after the method by Adolphe Braun (pp. 48/49).
  14. Woodbury print («Un Fripier») by Goupil.

Copies of this book differ from each other as the photographic plates are not always identical. Later editions contain different – and more illustrations.

Important Provenances

This copy bears two very important inscriptions at the top of the title: the first (in the upper right corner) is addressed to Alphonse Davanne, founding member and president of the French Photography Society from 1876 to 1901: « à Monsieur Davanne hommage affectueux ».. Davanne, who in turn, presented this copy to the Portuguese photographer Carlos Relvas, writing “A Mr. Carlos Relvas in Golegã (Portugal) par Mr. Davanne”.

Louis Désiré Blanquart-Évrard was born in Lille in 1802. In 1826, he studied with Frédéric Kuhlmann, an important chemist, then developed his photographic work from 1844 following the announcement of the negative-positive method of William Fox Talbot. He published a summary of the work of developing and improving his method about Talbot. He focused on adapting photography to industrial production and established a photographic printing factory. He founded his “Imprimerie Photographique” in 1851 in Loos-lès-Lille, the first of its kind in France. He catalogued 555 images and also contributed to the publication of works by other publishers. A major figure in the development of photography during the second half of the 19th century, Blanquart-Evrard devoted the rest of his life to research. In 1863, he published the important treatise Intervention de l’art dans la photographie, but his great contribution after the closure of the “Imprimerie Photographique” was the publication of his book in which he gives a valuable, important and accurate description of first three decades of photography.

Louis Alphonse Davanne (1824-1912) was a chemist, professor, inventor and primitive French photographer, co-founder of the Société française de photographie in 1854 and, above all, the publisher of the serial production of albumen photography processes. He is, with Édouard Baldus, Roger Fenton and Henri Le Secq, one of the pioneering inventors of the photolithographic process, otherwise known as photoengraving. Teaching among others at the Sorbonne he contributed to the popularization of photographic techniques.

Carlos Relvas (1838-1894) has been a member of the Société Française de Photographie since 1869 and was one of the most prestigious photographers in Europe at his time. An eclectic spirit, Relvas produced a work of great magnitude. He was a photographer, politician, inventor, farmer, horse breeder and bullfighting knight and musician. His work has been recognized at international exhibitions in Madrid, Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam, Vienna and Philadelphia, among others. His belongings were bequeathed to the Portuguese State an ar housed in the purposely built Casa-Estúdio Carlos Relvas, whose construction began in 1872 and ended three years later. It was built in honor of the grand inventors of photography: Joseph Niepce and Louis Daguerre.

Very fine copy of this rare book.