Jacques Daguerre (Dictionary of World Biography: The 19th Century)
Article abstract: Daguerre’s greatest renown rests upon his contribution to the technology of photography. He achieved the earliest fixed-image photograph developed from a latent image. The process discovered by him produced a photograph on a polished iodized silver plate that was patented as the “daguerreotype.”
Jacques Daguerre’s formal education in the schools of Orléans was brief and poor because of the distractions of the French Revolution. Fortunately, he revealed a gift for drawing early in his childhood, which, in some measure, offset the quality of his education. Daguerre was apprenticed by his father to a draftsman. Though the training in detailed exactitude was later to prove beneficial, it was Daguerre’s wish to study painting. In 1804, his father allowed him to go to Paris for that purpose. He was apprenticed to the chief stage designer at the Paris Opera, with whom he lived and worked for three years.
At the end of this apprenticeship, Daguerre took employment with Pierre Prévost, a painter who had achieved a certain celebrity with his panoramas. These were representations akin to those currently called cycloramas. The viewer was situated at the center of a cylindrical painting of very large dimensions, comprising a single expansive view. Such paintings must be executed with scrupulous attention to accuracy of scale and fidelity to perspective. Once more, his experience...
(The entire section is 2325 words.)
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