Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon

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Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon
Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon self-portrait, c1860.png
Self-portrait, c. 1860
Born (1818-01-09)9 January 1818
La Ferté-sous-Jouarre, Seine-et-Marne, France
Died 28 April 1881(1881-04-28) (aged 63)
Paris, France
Resting place
Fontainebleau
Other names Exhibited in the Salon as "Adama" (1844 and 1848).
Occupation Sculptor, Portrait Photographer
Organization Société Française de Photographie
Religion Judaism
Spouse(s) Georgine Cornélie Coutellier
Awards Légion d’honneur, 1870

Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon (9 January 1818 – 28 April 1881 [1]) was a French sculptor and photographer.

Early career[edit]

Following a brief career as a modeler for the Jacob Petit pottery factory in Fontainebleau, he received a scholarship to study sculpture in Paris, as well as travelling to Switzerland and England.[2] His notable sculptures include busts of Victor Cousin, Odilon Barrot, Pierre-Jean de Béranger, Alphonse de Lamartine, Gioachino Rossini, and Marie Antoinette.[3]

Photography[edit]

Later in his life, Adam-Salomon became a leading portrait photographer after studying under the portraitist Franz Hanfstaengl in Munich in 1858. Adam-Salomon opened a portrait studio in Paris in 1859, and in 1865 he opened a second Paris studio.[4] In 1870 he was made a member of the Société française de photographie and received the Légion d’honneur the same year.[5] Adam-Salomon's portrait photographs were considered to be among the best examples in existence during his lifetime, and were renowned for their chiaroscuro produced by special lighting techniques.[6]

Acceptance of photography as art[edit]

The photography of Adam-Salomon played a pivotal role in the mainstream acceptance of photography as an art form. For example, in 1858 the poet Alphonse de Lamartine described photography as "this chance invention which will never be art, but only a plagiarism of nature through a lens." A short time later, after seeing the photographic work of Adam-Solomon, Lamartine reversed his claim.[7]

Critical praise[edit]

Coverage of his work in the French press outnumbered that of Félix Nadar by a ratio of ten to one. After the Paris Exposition of 1867 the reviewer for The Times called Salomon's pictures "matchless", "beyond praise," "the finest photographic portraits in the world."[8]

In the 1868 edition of the British Journal of Photography Almanac, editor J. Traill Taylor wrote:

The important discovery of the past year has been that M. Adams-Salomon, a Parisian photographer, has produced portraits of so high class as to show us the true capabilities of photography, and how much we have yet to overcome ere similar perfection can be claimed for the works of our average artists. It is far from being pleasant to know that we are so far behind the Parisians; but, believing such to be the case, the knowledge of the fact will, without doubt, rouse English artists to a sense of their shortcomings and the particular direction in which progress must be made.[9]

Selected works[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Antoine-Samuel Adam-Salomon" The National Gallery of Canada 17 July 2011
  2. ^ Weill, Jewish Encyclopedia
  3. ^ Berlioz, p139; Waters, p4.
  4. ^ Union List of Artists' Names
  5. ^ Turner, Grove Dictionary of Art.
  6. ^ Hannavy, p. 6.
  7. ^ Jay, p. 138.
  8. ^ Buerger, p. 56.
  9. ^ Taylor, p6.

References[edit]

External links[edit]