Portrait of an English gentleman
Salt print, hand-painted
25 x 20 cm (image)
Bassenge Photography Auctions
Auction 114, 4 December 2019, Lot: 4017
Salt print hand-painted by Jean-Louis Wensel (1825-1899). Circa 25 x 20 cm. Photographer's name and painter's name painted in lower right/left corner, in original gilt/plaster frame (some cracks) in glazed wooden frame (some cracks, 42 x 37 cm).
The French born photographer Antoine Claudet became one of the earliest pioneers of English photography. Since moving to London in 1827, he was in contact with many important scientists and became a member of the prestigious Royal Society. He opened his first daguerreotype studio at the Royal Gallery of Practical Science in June 1841. He photographed important figures of English society such as Prince Albert of Saxony Coburg Gotha, Charles Dickens, William Henry Fox Talbot and many others. He was also present at the meeting of the Royal Society on June 10, 1841 during the announcement of Talbot’s calotype process. Claudet was immediately interested in Talbot's invention and negotiated a license with him. New developments in the field of photography were his interest. He remained in contact with Talbot until his death in 1867. The extensive correspondence between Claudet and Talbot is largely preserved and contains rare and important documents in the history of photography. The rare and richly overpainted photograph offered here is based on a salted paper print from a glass plate negative from 1866/67. It is most probably one of only three known images in this technique, and in this larger size with ornate frame. – Exquisitely painted salt print, some foxing spots in lower area, otherwise in very good condition.