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The Ponds at Obtevoz, Rhône
10 1/2 x 13 5/16 in
J. Paul Getty Museum
The J. Paul Getty Trust (84.XP.362.3)
This softly rendered view of marshy ponds by André Giroux owes much of its character to Giroux's training as a painter. Seeking to obliterate any evidence of photography's mechanical nature, he achieved the photograph's softened edges and atmospheric haziness by drawing and scratching on the negative. This technique is a variation of cliché-verre (literally, "glass negative"), a method of painting onto a transparent support and using it to print a positive image. Instead of starting with a blank piece of glass, Giroux worked directly on the photographic negative. He created a Romantic, idyllic landscape in the tradition of the Barbizon school of landscape painting, full of nostalgia and sympathy for the French countryside.
(Alan Griffiths, 15 July 2015 based on information from Xavier Martel, FB) Since the 19th century the location has been written Optevoz. Optevoz is a commune in the Isère department in southeastern France.