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Pioneer photographers and the carte de visite

The invention of photography made it possible to immortalise nobles and commoners more cheaply than ever. Photographers made portraits of their customers in theatrical or pictorial poses. In this sense, the book is a fetish of the middle and upper classes, an elite that wished to perpetuate itself in the memory identified with culture.

The pioneer photographers found a good means of publicity through the patronage of the Spanish Royal Household and participation in International Exhibitions. In 1858, small format (6 x 9 cm) photography became fashionable, similar in size to a calling card, using a camera equipped with six lenses that made it possible to obtain half a dozen photographs in a single shot.

1) Studio portrait of a gentleman posed reading a book [Circa 1860]. Photographer: Disderi. BORNOS, C. 576, D. 9
2) Studio portrait of a young lady in an office holding a book. [Circa 1860]. Photographer: Disderi? BORNOS, C. 576, D. 9
  3) Portrait of María Francisca Crespí de Valldaura Caro, 11th Countess of Bornos (1826-1880) in mourning posed with an open book in her hands [Circa 1860]. Photographer: Pedro Martínez de Hebert (Madrid). BORNOS, C. 576, D. 9
4) Studio portrait of a lady dressed in dark clothes with a closed book in her hand [Circa 1860]. Photographer: Unknown. BORNOS, C. 576, D. 9

André Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (1819-1889) patented the carte de visite and was the official photographer of the emperor Napoleon III. VIVERO, C. 212, D. 8

Jean Laurent (1816-circa 1890), French photographer with a studio in Madrid from 1856 and official portrait maker of Queen Isabella II. MENDIGORRIA, C. 440, D. 20

Pedro Martínez de Hebert, miniaturist and photographer of Spanish and French descent, with a business in Madrid from 1860. MENDIGORRIA, C. 440, D. 19

Edgardo Debás, Spaniard, a prestigious professional specialising in portraits and features on personalities. He collaborated with The Spanish and Latin American Illustration in the late 19th century. VIVERO, C.214, D.003.

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