History of Photography


Introduction. History of Photography (Encyclopaedia Britannica)

A World History of Photography (by Naomi Rosenblum)

The Story Behind the Pictures 1827-1991 (by Hans-Michael Koetzle)

Photographers' Dictionary.
(based on "20th Century Photography - Museum Ludwig Cologne")


 

 



Photographers' Dictionary

(based on "20th Century Photography-Museum Ludwig Cologne")

 
 

 

 


Napoleon Sarony

(1821 1896) was an American lithographer and photographer. He was a highly popular and prolific portrait photographer, most known for his portraits of the stars of late 19th century American theater.
Sarony was born in Quebec in 1821 and moved to New York City around 1836. He worked as an illustrator for Currier and Ives before joining with James Major and starting his own lithography business, Sarony & Major, in 1843. In 1845, James Major was replaced by Henry B. Major in Sarony & Major and it continued operating under that name until 1853. From 1853 to 1857, the firm was known as Sarony and Company, and from 1857 to 1867, as Sarony, Major & Knapp. Sarony left the firm in 1867 and established a photography studio at 37 Union Square, during a time when celebrity portraiture was a popular fad. Photographers would pay their famous subjects to sit for them, and then retain full rights to sell the pictures. Sarony reportedly paid famed stage actress Sarah Bernhardt $1,500 to pose for his camera, the equivalent of more than $20,000 today.
One of Sarony's portraits of writer Oscar Wilde became the subject of a U.S. Supreme Court case, Burrow-Giles Lithographic Co. v. Sarony 111 U.S. 53(1884), in which the Court upheld the extension of copyright protection to photographs. Sarony sued Burrow-Giles after it used unauthorized lithographs of Oscar Wilde No. 18 in an advertisement, and won a judgment for $610 (the modern equivalent of just over $12,000) that was affirmed on appeal by the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court. Sarony later photographed the Supreme Court itself, to celebrate the centennial of the federal judiciary in 1890.
Sarony was married twice. His first wife died in 1858; his second, Louie, reportedly shared his tendency towards eccentricity and preference for outlandish dress. She rented elaborate costumes that she wore during her daily afternoon walk through Washington Square, wearing them once before returning them.
 

Sarah Bernhardt, c. 1880.
Albumen print.
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C.

 

Eugene Sandow with a Leopard Skin
(Posing as the Farnese Hercules), c. 1893. Albumen print.
Harvard Theatre Collection, Cambridge, Mass.
 


Actor Joseph Jefferson as Rip van Winkle
1869

 


Sarah Bernhardt as Cleopatra
1891

 


Sarah Bernhardt Reclining Pose
1891

 


Sarah Bernhardt Lounging

 


James G. Blaine Sarony Portrait
1892

 


Entertainer Lottie Collins
1892

 


Lillie Langtry Tiger Rug Portrait
1882

 


Actress Minnie Maddern Fiske Portrait
1897

 


First Bodybuilder Eugen Sandow Flexing
1893

 


Victorian Bodybuilder Eugen Sandow

 


Victorian Bodybuilder Eugen Sandow
1893

 


Actress Dame Marie Tempest Portrait
1892

 


Oscar Wilde Full Length Standing Portrait

 


Oscar Wilde
1882

 


Oscar Wilde
1882

 


Oscar Wilde
1882


Oscar Wilde
1882

 


Oscar Wilde
1882

 


Sarah Bernhardt
1880

 


Fanny Davenport

 

Actress Wrapped in a Blanket During a "Snowstorm"

 

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