1770 - 1841
CATHÉDRALE NOTRE-DAME DE PARIS, CIRCA 1840
daguerréotype de format pleine plaque
passe-partout d'époque et enveloppe moderne
vintage passe-partout and modern seal
partie visible / sight area: 7¾x 5½in.; 19,7 x 14 cm
objet: 12⅛x 10⅛in.; 31,50 x 25,50 cm
Gallery Marc Pagneux, Paris 1996
Acquired by the present owner in 1996
Noël-Marie Paymal, Excursions daguerriennes : vues et monuments les plus remarquables du globe, 1840-1844 (Paris, Rittner and Goupil), pl. 99
This is one of the very first photographs ever taken of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, c. 1840, just one year after the announcement of Arago of the Invention of Photography. This photograph was also taken before the restorations of the Cathedral Notre-Dame that started in 1844 an that saw the construction of the new spire.
The grey tint, distinguishing early daguerreotypes and the richness of details have remained unharmed. The photographer Vincent Chevalier, one of the pioneers of Photography, was a French optic engineer from a known optician family for generations. He made several remarkable views of monuments in Paris using the daguerreotype.
Only two other similar plates are known, one is in the collection of The Museum of History of Science in Oxford and the other is known to be in a private collection and registered in 1988 as French National Treasure. This plate is therefore the last remaining example of the earliest daguerreotype views of Notre-Dame.