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CHRETIEN, Gilles Louis; Edme Queneday.

[Physionotrace portraits].

Stock Code
89287
1787
£4,500

An early precursor of photography.

Gilles-Louis Chrétien invented the physionotrace in 1783-84 Similar to a silhouette, the physionotrace always shows a profile portrait. However unlike the silhouette, the Physionotrace portrait shows every detail of the sitter, including his or her clothing. The physionotrace apparatus, a mechanical wooden instrument with a viewfinder, worked as a pantograph devise. This invention of Chrétien enabled the artist to quicly draw a portait of the sitter for a reasonable price. Quenedey (1756 - 1830) was Chretien's associate from 1788.

The apparatus reduced all the drawing skills of the artist to a smaller size and engraved it in copper. By this method, this pantograph drawing aid produced small copperplates that could be printed again and again.

These original, and rare, plates can be seen as a forerunner of the photographic negative since the basic purpose was the same. A cheaper method to produce a quantity of images in a

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Description

Album containing 8 bust-length physionotrace portrait etchings and aquatint with hand-colouring (10 x 11 cm. approx.), by Chretien (2), Queneday (5) and another unsigned, window-mounted, modern half calf, marbled boards, red morocco label.

Bibliography

Stock ID:89287

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