Introduction to the Daguerreotype Exhibit of The New York Exhibition Of The Industry Of All Nations

On August 19, 1853 in the Semi-Weekly Tribune the following introduction to the daguerreotype exhibit of the New York exhibition of the industry of all nations can be found.

The Exhibition At The Crystal Palace.  XVI.  American Art—Daguerreotypes.  If there be any one department in the whole building which is peculiarly American, and in which the country shines prominent, it is in that of Daguerreotypes, which are exhibited below stairs; and the collection, which is an extensive one, is made up of contributions from almost every section of the Union where the art is practiced.  In contrasting the specimens of art which are taken herewith those taken in European countries, the excellence of American pictures is evident, which is [to] be accounted for by several reasons.  In the first place, American skies are freer from fogs and clouds—from bituminous coal not being much used, the atmosphere of our cities is free from smoke, at least upon the Atlantic coasts.  Then the chemicals and processes are, generally speaking, of a more sensitive character, and the apparatus is more convenient and suitable than that of Europe.  Our little inventions come into play and aid in saving time and developing a good picture, and last, though perhaps not least our people are readier in picking up processes and acquiring the mastery of the art than our trans-Atlantic rivals.  Not that we understand the science better, but the detail of the work is acquired in a shorter time by us, while the enormous practice which our operators enjoy combines to render the daguerreotype art a necessary adjunct to the comfort of life.  Does a child start on the journey of existence and leave his “father’s hall” forthwith the little image is produced to keep his memory green..  Does the daughter accept the new duties of matron, or does the venerated parent descend into the grave; what means so ready to revive their recollection?  Does the lover or the husband go to Australia or California, and not exchange with the beloved one the image of what afforded so much delight to gaze upon?  The readiness with which a likeness may be obtained, the truthfulness of the image and the smallness of cost, render it the current pledge of friendship, and the immense number of operators who are supported by the art in this country shows how widely the love of sun-pictures is diffused.  Several thousand industrious artists and artisans are occupied in the preparation of very pure chemicals, as bromine, iodine, gold salts, hyperphosphate of soda.  Another class prepare silvered plates, cases, buffs, gilding, cut glass, and a hundred little addenda.  Then the manufacture of cameras and the grinding of good lenses is an important branch of the business; for without a camera having good lenses the best operator would fail to produce an image which would be distinct or saleable; and even with a good Voigtlander or Harrison camera, it requires great skill to focus the image; for, strange as it may appear, the point where a good view of the sitter is obtained is not the point best adapted for bringing out a good picture.  In other words the focus of vision and the focus of chemical action are not the same, and hence when we have the one we lose the other.  This is owing to the fact that it is not the rays of color on the solar spectrum which produce the image, but a different set of rays, viz: those of chemical action; and since this is the case, we submit the opinion that it is not possible to obtain a daguerreotype in its natural colors, as Mr. Hill and others have been trying to delude our operators into believing, and leading themselves and others by the [iguis fatuus] of plates tortured into iridescent colors by chemical oxidation.  But we are getting discursive upon this beautiful art, which was intended to subserve many other useful purposes than that of portrait painting.

Everybody known how difficult it is to keep silver from tarnishing, and that the action of the light is to destroy all preparations of silver.  Some of these are more readily acted on by light than others—are more sensitive, as it is termed.  Such are the iodide, bromide, and chloride of silver.  These salts cannot be kept exposed to the light for any reason, even a very short time, without undergoing some change; and when a plate of silver has a thin layer of iodine and bromine on its surface; and is placed in a camera, as soon as the screen is raised the image of the sitter falls on the plate.  The silver plate is acted on unequally, producing the effects of light and shade when brought out, as it is termed, by exposure to the vapor of quicksilver.  It is then fixed or prevented from undergoing further change, by washing it with a solution of gold.

To produce a daguerreotype picture there are five operations necessary.  The first is cleaning the plate.  This is the stumbling block of most operators.  They are not cleanly enough.  Several views in this Exhibition show that the plates were not well enough cleaned.  Never was a maxim more true than the old one, that “cleanliness is a virtue”—when it has reference to daguerreotyping.  The second the second is the foundation of the sensitive iodide of silver over the surface of the plate.  The third is the adjusting the plate in the camera obscura, for the purpose of receiving the impression.  The fourth is the bringing out the photographic picture, which is invisible when the plate is taken from the camera.  The fifth, and last, is to remove the excess of sensitive coating, and thus prevent that susceptibility to change under luminous influence which would otherwise exist and ultimately effect the picture.  The second operation is that which gives tone and warmth to the picture, and when performed by skillful hands makes a daguerreotype a beautiful piece of art.  The clearness and distinctness of the image is produced by the third process when carefully conducted, and the whole picture should be distinct over the whole plate.  These remarks will serve to illustrate the subjoined notes upon the collections in the Exhibition.

Part 3 description of the exhibit posted tomorrow 4/24/18

Official 1853 Catalogue Of The New York Exhibition Of The Industry Of All Nations

The official 1853 catalogue of the New York exhibition of the industry of all nations’ list 43 American daguerreotype artist or manufacturers.  The information in the official catalogue gives a brief description of what is being exhibited.  Exhibitors name and address or in some cases just the city and state.  Most but not all of the biggest names in the industry are exhibiting daguerreotypes and a few are exhibiting paper photographs (crystalotypes).  Missing from the exhibition most notably is Southworth & Hawes, Langenheim Brothers and everyone west of St. Louis.  A few names are misspelled, and a few surprises, a doctor and a sculptor in addition Whipple is listed as a manufacture not a daguerrean artist or photographer.  Twelve states are represented along with the names of the photographers or manufacturers they are.

Connecticut—three;  Sheldon K. Nichols, Scovill Manufacturing Co., A. Washington.      Illinois—three;  Alexander Hesler, C. C. Kesst, Captain P. Von Schneidau.                        Kentucky—one;  E. L. Webster.                                                                                                          Louisiana—one;  F. Moissinet.                                                                                                                  Maine—one;  George M. Howe.                                                                                                        Maryland—two;  Henry Pollock, Jesse H. Whitehurst.                                                        Massachusetts—three;  Silas Durkee, M. D., Masury & Silsbee, John A. Whipple.                  Missouri—two;  J. H. Fitzgibbon, Edward Long.                                                                                    New Jersey—one;  David Clark.                                                                                                                  New York City & Brooklyn—seventeen;  Edward Anthony, A. J. Beals, Matthew B. Brady, James Brown, Jeremiah Gurney, Phillip Hass, Harrison & Hill, Charles C. Harrison, Henry E. Insley, Martin M. Lawrence, William & William H. Lewis, Charles C. Lincoln, Meade Brothers, Loins V. J. Peeiffer, Samuel Root, Charles H. Williamson, Anthony C. Zucky.                           New York state—two;  Donald McDonell, New York State Daguerrean Association.                    Ohio—five;  S. P. Barnaby, A. Bisbee, Thomas Faris, E. C. Hawkins, William E. North.  Pennsylvania—two; Ernest Van Heeringen, M. A. Root.

The Catalogue:

43.  Collection of large crayon daguerreotypes, and daguerreotypes by the ordinary process.—Samuel Root, Daguerrean Artist, 363 Broadway, New York City.

44.  Collection of specimens of the art of daguerreotyping, talbotyping and crystallotyping.—M. A. Root, Daguerrean Artist, 140 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, [Pennsylvania.]

45.  Frame of Daguerreotypes—Phillip Haas, Daguerrean Artist, 371 Broadway, New York       City.

46.  Collection of daguerreotype portraits—Jeremiah Gurney, 349 Broadway, New York City.

47.  Solographs, plain and colored, nebular Daguerreotypes— E. C. Hawkins, Daguerrean     Artist, Cincinnati, Ohio.

48.  Specimens of the daguerreotype art on extra large plates— Anthony, Edward—308      Broadway, New York City.

49.  Portraits in daguerreotype.—S. P. Barnaby, Daguerrean Artist, Dayton, Ohio.

50.  Specimens of daguerreotyping.—William E. North, Daguerrean Artist, Cleveland, Ohio.

51.  Specimens of the daguerreotypie art.—E. L. Webster, Daguerrean Artists, Louisville,      Kentucky.

52.  Daguerreotype pictures.—Ernest Van Heeringen, Daguerrean Artist, Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

53.  Specimens of daguerreotyping.—Sheldon K. Nichols, Daguerrean Artist, 168 Main   Street, Hartford, Connecticut.

54.  A variety of daguerreotype picture.—Anthony C. Zucky, Daguerrean Artist, 499      Broadway, New York City.

55.  Daguerreotype pictures.—Capt. P. Von Schneidau, Daguerreotypist, 142 Lake Street, Chicago, Illinois.

56.  A collection of daguerreotypes.—Henry Pollock, Daguerreotypist, 155 Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland.

57.  Daguerreotype miniatures.—Thomas Faris, Daguerrean Artist,. Cincinnati, Ohio.

58.  Collection of daguerreotype miniatures.—Masury & Silsbee, Daguerrean Artists, 299½ Washington street, Boston, Massachusetts.

59.  Collection of daguerreotypes.—J. H. Whitehurst, Daguerrean Artist, 205 Baltimore        street, Baltimore, Maryland.

60.  Collection of illuminated daguerreotypes.—Henry E. Insley, Daguerreotypist,             311 Broadway, New York City.

61.  Daguerreotypes of two monuments.—Louis V. J. Pfeiffer, [sic.] Peeiffer, Sculptors, 5     Second Avenue, New York City.

62.  A large collection of photographic portraits and pictures from members of the             association.—New York State Daguerrean Association, (George N. Barnard, Sec.),   Oswego, New York.

63.  Improved coating box for the daguerreotype process.  Card distributing apparatus.  (Patent applied for)—William & William H. Lewis, Manufacturer, 63 Elizabeth street,          New York City.

64.  Collection of microscopic objects in physiology and natural history, prepared by the exhibitor.—Silas Durkee, M. D., Boston, Massachusetts.

65.  Specimens of daguerreotype portraits on full size plate.—A. Washington, Daguerrean     Artist, Hartford, Connecticut.

66.  Daguerreotype pictures, embracing panoramic views of Galena city, Falls of St. Anthony; Min-ne-ha-ha Falls, and a collection of portraits.—Alex Hesler, Daguerrean Artist, Galena, Illinois.

67.  Daguerreotype specimens.—Charles C. Lincoln, Daguerrean Artist, 182 Fulton street,  Brooklyn, New York.

68.  Daguerreotype instruments and cameras of various sizes.—Charles C. Harrison,         Manufacturer, 85 Duane street, New York City.

69.  Daguerreotype portraits.—David Clark, Daguerrean Artist, New Brunswick, New Jersey.

70.  Daguerreotypes by the common method.  Specimens of Crystallotypes; or daguerreotypes taken by means of glass upon prepared paper.—John A. Whipple, patent and Manufacturer, 96 Washington street, Boston, Massachusetts.

71.  Specimens of daguerreotype portraits.—Edward Long, Daguerrean Artist, St. Louis, Missouri.

72.  A collection of daguerreotypes.—Martin M. Lawrence, Daguerrean Artist, 203 & 381 Broadway, New York City.

73.  Collection of daguerreotypes.—F. Moissinet, Daguerrean Artist, New Orleans, Louisiana.

74.  Collection of daguerreotype pictures.—Donald McDonell, Daguerreotypist, Buffalo,          New York.

75.  Collection of daguerreotypes in frames.—A. J. Beals, Daguerrean Artist,, 156 Broadway,  New York City.

76.  Various specimens of daguerreotypes.—C. C. Kessy, Daguerrean Artist, 96 Lake street,     Chicago, Illinois.

77.  Daguerreotype apparatus and materials of all descriptions.—Edward Anthony,             Manufacturer, 308 Broadway, New York City.

78.  Descriptive daguerreotypes.—Harrison & Hills, Daguerrean Artist, 288 Fulton street, New York City.

79.  Tableau of elegantly mounted daguerreotypes.—J. H. Fitzgibbons, Daguerrean Artist, St. Louis Missouri.

80.  Daguerreotypes representing Shakespeare’s “Seven ages of men;” taken from life-     subjects.  Portrait of Daguerre, from life.  Groups of various portraits of full and half           sizes.—Meade Brothers, Daguerrean Artist, 233 Broadway, New York City.

81.  Collection of daguerreotypes—Matthew B. Brady, Daguerrean Artist, 205 & 359      Broadway, New York City.

82.  Specimens of daguerreotypes.—George M. Howe, Daguerrean Artist, Portland, Maine.

83.  Collection of daguerreotypes.—James Brown, Daguerreotypist, 181 Broadway, New     York City.

84.  Framed tableau of fine daguerreotypes.—Charles H. Williamson, Daguerrean Artist, 249 Fulton street, Brooklyn, New York City.

85.  Daguerreotype apparatus.  Cases and prepared plates of all sizes and qualities.—Scovill Manufacturing Co., Waterbury, Connecticut.  Office 57 Maiden Lane, New York City.

Part 2 introduction to the Daguerreotype exhibit posted tomorrow 4/23/18.

Biteley & Watson

Biteley & Watson were recorded in an advertisement in the Ithaca Journal and Advertiser (Ithaca, New York.) on September 5, 1848.  Daguerreotypes At No. 37, Owego St.  Likenesses can be had of all sizes in a new and improved style, and on the most reasonable terms.—Ladies and gentlemen are invited to call and examine specimens and sit for their Likeness, if they choose, by way of experiments, free of charge.  Instructions given in the latest improvements in the art-Chemicals, Apparatus, &c. furnished on the most liberal terms.  Biteley & Watson.   Advertisement ran from September 5, 1848 to March 14, 1849.

The probably is high that Biteley is the same person who is in the company of Biteley & Lawyer in Geneva in 1849.  Watson first name is unknown at this time.

Biteley & Lawyer

Biteley & Lawyer are recorded first in a notice and then two advertisements in the Geneva Daily Gazette.  (Geneva, New York.)  There seems to be confusion in the spelling of Biteley name.  The notice spells his name Biteley, the first advertisement spells the name Bitely and the second advertisement identifies him as N. H. Biteley.  In Craig’s Daguerreian Registry under Bitely he directs the reader to Brightly.  John also records two Lawyers in his registry (E. Ralph and Jacob H.) in reading through the entries there is a possibly that the partnership is with E. Ralph Lawyer since Biteley (Brightly) & Lawyer reportedly taught J. F. Ryder (later from Cleveland) the Daguerreotype Process.

On June 29, 1849 the notice ran.  Mr. Editor:  I called the other day at the Daguerrean room of Messrs. Biteley & Lawyer, Seneca street, and was highly pleased and gratified to perceive the approximation towards perfection, if not perfection itself, to which this wonderful art has arrived.  I have seen Daguerreotypes, without number, but never any like those taken by the above named gentlemen.—The likenesses are so life-like and “true to nature,” that they excite admiration and astonishment.  They surpass everything of the kind ever exhibited in our village; and those who wish to secure a correct picture of themselves or their friends, will do well to avail themselves of an opportunity which may not soon occur again.           S.

On July 6, 1849 the first advertisement ran from July 6 to August 17.  Glorious Opportunity!  The subscribers would say to the readers of the “Gazette,” that they have opened Daguerrean Rooms on Seneca street, one door below Dr. Smith’s office, where they may be found from 8 A. M. until sundown, not only ready and willing, but anxious to perform any and every service, in their line, for the public.  The subscribers claim to understand the Daguerrean business, and were not for their excessive modesty, would here insert various notices that they have received in different parts of the State, commending their likenesses.  The public are invited to call, and we will treat them as well as we know how, and sell them pictures if we can.         Bitely & Lawyer.

The second advertisement ran on August 24 to September 14, 1849.  It appears that the partnership has been dissolved.  One Dollar Daguerrean Gallery!  The subscriber, at the rooms heretofore occupied by Biteley & Lawyer, will put up Likenesses in good style for One Dollar.  N. B.  Prices above for two weeks only.  N. H. Biteley.

G. F. Bissell

G. F. Bissell was recorded in The Freeman’s Journal (Cooperstown, New York) in an advertisement that ran on September 23 & 30, 1859.

For Sale.  An Ambrotype Car, nearly new, and in good repair, together with the apparatus and furniture.  Instruction in the art given to the purchaser free.  Terms of payment made easy.  The above property will be sold cheap, and offers a rare chance for some enterprising young man wishing steady, easy and profitable employment.  G. F. Bissell, Laurens, Sept. 19, 1859.

Bissell name is not recorded in other photographic directories.  The possibility exist that Bissell is not a photographer that he is just selling the car, but the possibility also exist that he is selling the car and giving the instructions to whoever purchases the car.

H. Bisbee

H. Bisbee was recorded in the American Lancaster Gazette (Lancaster, Ohio.) in an advertisement that ran from March 11 to April 22, 1858. The date of the Advertisement recorded at the end of the ad is January 28, 1858.  There are a lot of voids in the newspapers that I had access to. The first issue started on February 15, (Volume 2, No. 41) and ran uninterrupted to December 27, 1855.  The only issues available in 1856 was between January 3 to February 28, and One issue on December 11. In 1857 there were only three issues available October 1 to 15.  In 1858 missing from the database were newspapers published between January 7 to March 4, September 28 and October 7 and 14.  In 1859 there were only two issues missing March 31 and May 19.

In looking through Craig’s Daguerreian Registry and Ohio Photographers 1839-1900, H. Bisbee is not recorded.  Albert Bisbee is recorded in both books and an A. Bisbee is recorded in Ohio Photographers (possibly same person.)  Albert Bisbee was active in Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland and Zanesville.  Albert Bisbee and Y. Day patented the Sphereotype on May 27, 1856. It is unknown if H. is a typo or if H. is a relative.

Fifty Cent Pictures Going Off By The Dozen At Bisbee’ Ambrotype & Sphereotype “One Horse Side-Light Rooms,” which Have Not Proved a Failure Yet, But are open Daily at the Corner of Main and Columbus Streets, (rooms formerly occupied as an Ice-Cream Saloon, Where the citizens and inhabitants of the surrounding country are invited to call and examine our “Side-Light” Pictures, and compare them with those made at the two horse ‘Sky-Light Gallery.’

We have just received from New York, A Large Supply of Cases, of all qualities and prices, and are now prepared to furnish all who wish, with an Ambrotype Likeness, cheaper than the cheapest.  We also own the exclusive right to make (what the two horse “sky-light” professor calls “our new style pictures.” better known throughout the United States and Europe, as “Bisbee’s Patent Sphereotype.” the most durable and beautiful of all pictures, each of which, when properly finished, has the Patent Stamp on the mat, and no stealing or infringing on others rights.

We are also willing to furnish the Prof. with any number of “pictures” made by our own individual self, at our “One-horse small window side light rooms” that he may use as specimens, to assist in “getting up a reputation for him,” to bring him up even, so that we can trot along together, “It is really a wonder that our friend” did not think of this scheme himself a long time ago, it would have saved him the expense of circulating so many bills every month, making “a great cry, and little” pictures.  We would recommend that he examine the (Patent) “Law’ more carefully to which he has reference, and there he will see why the Patent stamp is a proper finish, and also the consequences of not finishing properly.—

As to his right to make the Sphereotype he has just the same to rob a bank, provided some shrewd boy should sell him printed instructions (for one dollar) how to do it; we also advise him (for his sake) to throw no more stones at “small windows” while he has so “large ones exposed, of which he boasts.—Those wishing a “Genuine Sphereotype” or perfect” Ambrotype” can obtain them at our rooms, at half the price for which they are sold at the two-horse “Sky-Light gallery” and better pictures than he dare make.  Lancaster, January 28, 1858.  H. Bisbee.

Louis B. Binnse

Louis B. Binnse advertised in the New York Daily Tribune (New York, New York) on April 24, 1847.           Daguerreotype Plates.—L. B. Binnse & Co. 83 Williams st. 2d floor, have just received, per late arrival, a fill supply of Daguerreotype Plates, Nos. 20, 40, and 60 of their brand, so favorably known throughout the United States, which they warrant equal in quality to any ever before imported by them.  They offer them at prices considerably reduced from those of last Fall.  Chemicals, warranted to be of the best quality, always for sale. L. B. Binnse & Co. 83 Williams st. 2d floor.

Binnse is listed in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry as being active in 1843 to 1845.

William W. Bingham

William W. Bingham was recorded in The Chenango American (Greene, New York) in an advertisement that ran from August 4 to December 29, 1859.  Ambrotypes, Melanotypes and Patent Leather Pictures.  The subscriber respectfully informs the citizens of this village and vicinity, that he has taken the rooms over Drs. Wood’s Drug Store, where he is prepared to furnish Pictures, that cannot fail to please. Persons desirous of obtaining a Good Life-Like Picture, can now have an opportunity, as the subscriber has spared neither pains nor expense in making himself proficient in the business.  He feels confident that he is able to furnish his patrons with Pictures that cannot be surpassed.

Life is uncertain, and should an all wise Providence remove any of your friends from the scenes of earth, it would be a sweet satisfaction to be able to look on their countenances.  Hence lose no time.  Pictures of deceased persons taken correctly.  Persons desirous of obtaining duplicates of which they have already on their possession can be accommodated.  Your patronage is solicited.

N. B.—Particular attention paid to taking children’s portraits.  Wm. W. Bingham, Artist.

William W. Bingham does not appear in other photographic directories consulted.

Bingham & DeShong

The partnership of Bingham & DeShong has previously not been recorded in photographic directories.  Both Benjamin Bingham and William H. DeShong have appeared in Craig’s Daguerreian Registry.  They first appear in an advertisement that appeared in the Memphis Daily Appeal (Memphis, Tennessee) under the heading Business Notices on December 12, 1858 and ran till January 15, 1859.  We are often asked by strangers where the best pictures are to be had?  We would here through the press answer all.  We say, go to DeShong’s Gallery, 118 Main Street.  Mr. DeShong is now assisted by Mr. Bingham, whose pictures stand unrivalled, Call and see for yourselves, and be convinced.

On January 18, 1859 in the Memphis Daily Appeal under the heading Business Notices two notices appear.  Beautiful Pictures.—Messrs. Bingham & DeShong, 181 Main street, take the melainotype pictures on the iron plate, which will neither break or fade.  They are undoubtedly the best and prettiest pictures made.

Children’s Picture’s.—parents wishing pictures of their children can get them fac simile of Messrs. Bingham & DeShong, at the premium gallery, opposite the Worsham House.  Every attention will be paid to the cases of children, and their restlessness will be met with cheerful patience.

On March 27, 1859 the third Business Notice in the Memphis Daily Appeal appears.    Premium Gallery.—Bingham & DeShong Main street, opposite the Worsham House, continue to make those celebrated Melainotypes, known to be the very best pictures now made.  Recollect premium gallery. 180 Main street.  It is unknown if they changed address, if they are newspaper typos, or a renumbering of street addresses, which address is correct 118, 181 or 180 Main Street?

Francois Gouraud

An early account of Francois Gouraud’s daguerreotype exhibition in New York City.  There is no mention of Gouraud in the article, but there are enough clues to verify that its his exhibit that the writer is talking about.

Recorded on  February 1, 1840 in the Maumee City Express (Maumee City, Ohio.)  The following account of that wonderful invention by which the vestal Nature is wiled from her seat, and made to become the painter of her own fair form; by which Art is constrained to leap from her pedestal and lay herself on canvass, without the intervention of the painters skill; and even the frowning thunder-clouds of Heaven are forced into the hardness, and made to draw—their own portraits, however un-pallette-able it may be to them, is from the Providence Journal.  The exhibition spoken of is in Chamber’s-street, New York.

The Daguerreotype.—I visited this morning the exhibition of pictures produced by the Daguerreotype, and propose to give some account of them, which although imperfect, may still interest those who have never seen them.  The collection consists of more then twenty specimens of different sizes, by measuring generally six or seven inches high, by four or five wide.  Each plate is surrounded by a wide margin of drawing paper and is framed and glazed.  They are displayed upon desks, but may be taken to the light and examined at the pleasure of the visitors.  The greater part of them represent certain views in the city of Paris; the rest, groupings of still life, formed apparently in the studio of M. Daguerre.  The reader may obtain a tolerable idea of the general effect of these pictures, by imagining them to have been painted with some delicate silvery pigment upon a metallic mirror of the most even and highly polished surface,–this surface itself being left untouched for the darks and the greater or less brightness of the pigment indicating the various gradations of light.  The protogenic process is indeed similar to this.  It is only the lights of the object which act upon the prepared plate, and produce that infinitely thin deposit of silver grey mineral which by its greater or less accumulation forms the picture.  The dark parts of the object produce no chemical change at all upon the plate, and therefore the corresponding parts of the representation at the end of the process, appear entirely untouched, and when the picture is held at a particular angle show the bright polish of the naked metal, all the rest of the surface being dull and clouded.  This explanation I am aware, is obscured, but I give it, because it is upon this point that those who have never seen protegenic drawings are most curious.  Their general effect is in truth so peculiar it cannot be easily described by any familiar comparison, and must be seen to be comprehended, I may add here, that contrary to what might be supposed, these untouched parts of the plate, except when seen at the particular angle mentioned, do not appear bright and polished but form the dark and well defined shadows of the piece, and give it a depth of tone equal to that of any mezzotint or India ink drawing.  It may be seen also from this, that the lights and darks of the object are properly represented without being reversed as many believe.

There has been no exaggeration in description of the beauty of these Sun-paintings.  They reflect Reality so exactly that it is absurd to criticize them.  If you play the critic you must go beyond these images and find fault with the architecture of a building for instance, or the haziness of the atmosphere—matters over which the view-taker has no control.  He is the servant of Truth.  There is nothing inserted in his productions for effect.  You have a reliance in their perfect fidelity to the real, which introduces a new element into the feelings with which you have hitherto contemplated imitations of the outward world.  They bring you nearer to the originals than any representation by pen, pencil, or world of mouth has done before.  Here, for example, is that most beautiful of river views—the Seine, with its bridges, the celebrated façade of the Louve, and in the distance the antique towers of the Palais de Justice.  Here is the equestrian statute of Henry IV, upon the Pont Neuf.  It was taken soon after a shower, for you may see the rain-puddles upon the pavement.  Here is a side view of Notre Dame with every interstice of the stones faithfully represented.  How exquisitely penciled is that beautiful rose-window with its delicate tracery!  The most patient draughtman might work for months and fail to draw what this instrument has produced in ten minutes.

On another plate we have the Quai St. Michael and its book-stalls, on the other the glorious tower of St. Jacques de la Boucherie, starting up from a confused assemblage of houses.  The distance looks dim and indistinct, as in the reality, but even here a magnifying glass like a telescope, brings to view a lightning rod several miles off.  In one respect, however, this is not Paris.  Here is every stone and brick, but where are the people? the lively, restless people, which in the real Paris add a new charm to this gray and time-worn architecture, by placing beside its venerable immobility the contrast of man colored, ever-changing life!  Here, upon the bridge, is the umbrella of the old fruit woman, but where is the good woman herself, in her lofty Normandy cap?  Here is the long extended book-stall, but where is the dirty-faced, obsequious gentleman who tends it, and is at your side, usually, before you can turn a leaf of one of his dilapidated volumes?  Here are the muddy streets, but where is the grisette, with her smoothly-parted hair and dark eye—picking her way from stone to stone so nicely that not a spot appears on her well fitting stocking?  We mise the bonnes, too, and the gens d’armes, and the cabriolets, and the thousand and one sights which make this the gayest city in the world Paris, perhaps, has turned Protestant, and, this being Sunday, every body stays at home.  At any rate, the only human being visible, in these triste views, is an idler sitting upon a bridge.  One would like to know the name of this individual.

The most gratifying part of this collection to the artist must be its picture of still life.  Here the genius of the painter has come in and dignified, by his power of combination and composition, the servile fidelity of the Photogenic art.  M. Daguerre has himself arranged the materials for some of these paintings.  They consist of plaster casts, medallions, articles of virtu, cut glass vessels, shields of metal, tankards, engravings; and other articles, most gracefully grouped and relieved by a drapery falling in thick folds, which in many of the pictures is nothing more or less than a—Marseilles bed-quilt.  I can hardly describe the general effect of these works better than by comparing them to the most exquisite cabinet paintings of the Dutch school.  They differ, of course, in being entirely without color, but those readers who have seen, for instance, the celebrated “Evening School,” by Gerard Dow, at Amsterdam, may imagine pictures infinitely more delicate in execution than this, and exhibiting quite as beautiful contrasts of light and shadow.  This same Gerald Dow, who spent five days in painting a lady’s hand and copied objects from their images in a concave mirror, has produced nothing where the chiar ‘oscuro is more beautiful than in these drawings, and where the gradations of shadow are, as it is technically termed, fused so exquisitely.  They differ from all other pictures in this—that they show no marks of graver or pencil, or lines, or dots, or any thing which reminds one of a mechanical process.  They are images almost as pure as reflections in a mirror, and yet in the representations of the small plaster casts you trace the marks of the juncture of the moulds; you distinguish the peculiar cottony look of the quilt from the semi-transparency of the muslin drapery—the engravings from the oil-paintings, the clear glitter of the cut-glass from the metallic brilliancy of the shield and tankard.