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c. 1842-1843

Louis-Auguste Bisson

(French, 1814-1876)


Image: 8.1 x 10.9 cm (3 3/16 x 4 5/16 in.); Matted: 25.4 x 30.5 cm (10 x 12 in.)

Norman O. Stone and Ella A. Stone Memorial Fund 1991.38


Louis-Auguste Bisson's Cleveland is an outstanding example of the artistry of the French daguerreotype, aided by recent technical advances at the time. Between 1839 and 1841, for example, exposure times had been reduced from 15 minutes to one or two minutes. This descriptive portrait of the famous dark bay English stallion named Cleveland is a rare example of the small group of daguerreotypes of horses made by Bisson, who launched the 19th-century tradition of horse portrait photography. The profile pose allowed the photographer to document the anatomical details of the horse, its physiognomy, and breeding. This unusual outdoor picture is a testament to Bisson's technical ability, the speed of the exposure, and the horse's willingness to stand still.

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