PhotoMechanics/ Once Modern Words: Liepmann and Daguerre


The new blog by Petra Trnková from the CVF is mainly dedicated to two personalities, Jacob Liepmann and Louis Daguerre. And devotes itself to yet another of the early photomechanical techniques, so-called ‘oil-painting printing’.

As Petra writes: “A momentous event took place in Vienna at the end of August 1839. For the first time, selected members of the local public could witness the existence and quality of Daguerres invention. Two of Daguerres works, a Paris view of the Notre Dame and a still life, sent as gifts to Emperor Ferdinand I (1793–1875) and Chancellor Clemens Metternich (1773–1859), were displayed in the auditorium of the art academy in Annagasse street between 28th and 30th August. Alongside these two pieces was another one: a colour copy of a Rembrandts self-portrait from the royal collection in Berlin. The picture, on loan from Baron Ludwig Pereira (1803–1858), an entrepreneur, art collector and patron and an occasional painter, was created by the Berlin artist Jacob Liepmann (1803–1865) using a brand new technique – his own invention known as ‘Ölgemäldedruck[the English period press described it as oil-painting printingor printing of oil-paintings]. The fact that Liepmann-Rembrandts portrait was part of the exhibition has been largely ignored by the historians of photography, for an obvious reason: it had apparently nothing to do with the reflection of light or photochemical reaction. Nonetheless, in the context of the era and discussions about the daguerreotype as a mechanical image, its incorporation was natural and logical, and shows that the history of the daguerreotype, or photography, should not be strictly observed in terms of ‘photo-chemistry‘.”

The full text is available here.



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