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Durham cow and caretaker at agricultural fair, Paris
Salt print, varnished with gelatin and tannin
19.9 x 26.5 cm
Bassenge Photography Auctions
Photography, 6 June 2018, Lot: 4075
Adrien Tournachon was the younger brother of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon (also known as Nadar). The brothers collaborated briefly after Adrien opened a photographic studio, but competitive tensions arose in 1855. Adrien hoped to continue the studio alone as "Nadar jeune," however a court ruled that Félix, who was the more accomplished photographer, was "the only, the true Nadar". In 1856 and again in 1860, Adrien made a series of photographs of prize-winning livestock at the agricultural fairs in Paris. He used the more rapid collodion wet plate process rather than the slower paper negative process he had previously employed to photograph animals that rarely stood still. At the 1856 livestock show, Tournachon succeeded in making more than 120 negatives, and printed circa 50 of them to be included in an album presented to the minister of agriculture and commerce in July 1856.
The photograph offered here is printed in the technique known as vernis-cuit, in which the paper was coated with layers of gelatin and tannin to give the surface the appearance of varnished leather.