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HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Scientific: Medical - Guillaume-Amant Duchenne de Boulogne

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Duchenne & Adrien Tournachon 
From "Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine ou Analyse Electro-Physiologique de L'Expression des Passions" (Paris: Chez ve Jules Renouard, Libraire, 1862) 
[Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine ou Analyse Electro-Physiologique de L'Expression des Passions] 
Swann Galleries - New York 
Courtesy of Swann Galleries (Auction, May 22, 2007, #2115, Lot 59) 
With 20 photographic plates, comprising 9 composite montages (each with 16 images) and 11 medium-format studies of women patients from the "Figures esthétiques." Albumen prints, the composites are 5 1/4x4 1/4 inches (13.3x 10.8 cm.) and the studies are 4 1/2x3 1/2 inches (11.4x8.8 cm.), each with a letterpress title, credit, and plate number on mount recto. Tall 4to, original 1/2 calf. Parr/Badger I 50. first edition. Paris: Chez ve Jules Renouard, Libraire, 1862
A work of utmost rarity, this copy with 20 photographic plates.
The great nineteenth-century French neurologist Duchenne de Boulogne combined his intimate knowledge of facial anatomy with his skill in photography and expertise in using electricity to stimulate individual facial muscles, producing a fascinating interpretation of the ways in which the human face portrays emotions. According to R. Andrew Cuthbertson, who edited the reprint of this 19th-century masterwork, " [Duchenne's] fascinating photographs and insightful commentary provided generations of researchers with information about the perception and communication of human facial affect. Scientists from Darwin to Ekman all acknowledge their debt to Duchenne. This important photographically illustrated book, with its truly remarkable images, continues to have currency today."
Duchenne's principal photographic subject, "The Old Man," was afflicted with almost total facial anaesthesia. This circumstance made him an ideal subject for Duchenne's investigations, because the stimulating electrodes he used were certainly somewhat uncomfortable, if not actually painful to those who could feel them.
The collation of this volume is the same as the one in the BibliothÞque Charcot, Paris. (See Duchenne de Boulogne 1806-1875, p. 255). Not in Norman, not in the Parcival Bailey Collection; Waller no. 2606 (copy with only 10 plates). Not in Osler nor in Cushing. Tauregg p. 200. Copies of the first edition were typically issued with different numbers of photographs.
The book was published in fascicules containing the introduction first, followed by the scientific section; an aesthetic section was published some months later. This sequential publication had the advantage that criticisms made by reviewers of, for example, the scientific section, were answered by Duchenne in the subsequent Aesthetic section. Together, the three fascicules constituted the "text." They were either purchased already bound together or bought loose and bound in the purchaser's preferred style. This volume features the preface, an "avvertisement" for the aesthetic section, followed by Series One and Two of the Aesthetic Section. 
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