| || |
Warren Thompson in Paris
Julius F. Sachse, 1892, "Early Daguerreotype Days. - V. An Historical Retrospect", American Journal of Photography>, vol. XIII, p.451-452
Strange as it may appear, photographic portraiture was not a success in Paris until the advent of an American in 1845, viz.: Warren Thompson, of New York. Thompson came to Paris without being able to speak a single word of French. He merely had a letter of introduction from the Russian consul in New York to the vice-consul, Iwanow, in Paris. The latter turned the American over to Levitzky, who received him cavalierly, supposing him to be a mere amateur. He was soon disabused when Thompson produced his specimens. They proved far better than anything which had so far been seen in Europe. Neither Paris, Vienna, nor Rome could produce such results. Levitzky, then one of the leading daguerreotype artists in Paris, writes : "They were not mere daguerreotypes, they were works of art." 13 Here was strength, relief, artistic lighting, softness of shadows, with a wealth of half-tones. All specimens were on half-plates. This in itself was a revelation, as thus far in Paris nothing larger than quarter-plates had been used.
Thompson at once opened a studio in a large building in Boulevard Poissonier, Maison du pont de fer. The studio contained two stories, with three large rooms, having large windows. So superior were Thompson's results, that, notwithstanding the competition of native operators, his sitters averaged from thirty to forty per day.
13. Photographische Zeitung, Vol. XVI., p. 221