Lot 141: Gustave LE GRAY 1820-1884 Album de portraits

Artcurial

November 15, 2016, 2:30 PM CET
Paris, France
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Description: Gustave LE GRAY 1820-1884
Album de portraits
[Vers 1855-1859].
In-4 oblong (24 x 33,5 cm) de 108 f. , quelques-uns en couleurs, chagrin acajou, encadrement de filets à froid et dorés, décor central de filets à froid et dorés orné d'arabesques, de fleurs et de dragons dorés, dos à nerfs ornés de fleurs dorées, roulette intérieure dorée, contre-gardes et gardes de satin moiré blanc, tranches dorées (reliure de l'époque).

Album de portraits composé par Léon Maufras à partir de 1860 et offert à Alfred de Vigny par des proches de Maufras après sa mort.
Il contient 113 épreuves sur papier albuminé d'après négatifs sur verre au collodion, montées à l'italienne.

La plupart des portraits formels ont été réalisés au studio de Gustave Le Gray situé au 35 boulevard des Capucines, à Paris, entre 1855 et 1859. Quelques épreuves représentant des vues en extérieur pourraient être inédites. La sélection rigoureuse de Léon Maufras constitue une vitrine du talent de portraitiste du photographe, tant les poses sont variées et témoignent d'une modernité stylistique. Maufras, qui apparaît dans cinq portraits studios et deux scènes de groupe en extérieur, a vraisemblablement composé cet album. Des personnalités importantes du Second Empire côtoient des membres de l'entourage du photographe, dont sa famille et le personnel de son atelier. Plusieurs portraits restent à identifier.
La qualité des épreuves, dont la plupart ont conservé leurs riches tonalités, atteste de la maîtrise technique de la chimie par leur auteur.
Tous les portraits de cet album sont rares (comme l'autoportrait signé page 7, ou le portrait d'Alexandre Dumas en pied). Plus de la moitié des épreuves sont les seules connues à ce jour. Une douzaine ont été reproduites dans le catalogue de l'exposition Gustave Le Gray 1820-1884 présentée à la Bibliothèque Nationale de France et
au J. Paul Getty Museum, à Los Angeles, en 2002.
À propos de son portrait, qu'il reproduit à la une de sa revue Monte-Cristo datée du 5 janvier 1860, Alexandre Dumas écrit :
"Des qualités de ce portrait, je ne veux qu'affirmer la première, la plus essentielle : la ressemblance. C'est à vous, chers lecteurs, de voir si jamais la photographie est allée plus loin. . . C'est qu'aussi dois-je vous dire que je ne me suis pas laissé guider par le hasard dans le choix du photographe, et qu'en M. Le Gray j'ai tout simplement rencontré un artiste de la meilleur venue. Allez le trouver, m'avaient dit d'excellents juges en matière photographique, et vous serez content. Je suis allé le trouver, et j'ai été émerveillé. J'ai compris - ce qu'après avoir fait faire cent portraits par cent photographes différents, vous ne soupçonnez peut-être pas encore, chers lecteurs - j'ai compris que Le Gray comme photographe est à la fois un artiste et un savant. " (Monte-Cristo, n° 38, 5 janvier 1860, p. 1).
Comme le précise Loïc Chotard dans le catalogue de l'exposition Alfred de Vigny et les arts (Paris, Musée de la Vie romantique, 22 novembre 1997 - 1er mars 1998, p. 50, n° 37), où l'album fut présenté pour la première fois au public, les annotations supplémentaires (au crayon bleu et rouge) sur les montages sont de la main d'Alfred de Vigny qui : "à maintes reprises dans ses dernières années, s'était interrogé sur la vérité de l'image photographique. ". Les autres annotations, à la mine de plomb, sont de la main de Léon Maufras à l'exception de quelques-unes tracées par une ou plusieurs autres mains.
Descriptif des portraits (les références "Aubenas" renvoient à l'ouvrage dirigé par Sylvie Aubenas, Gustave Le Gray, 1820-1884, 2002) :
- f 1r : décoré d'un titre contrecollé à l'aquarelle, mine de plomb et dorure, marqué "ALBUM" ; il est précédé d'un feuillet vierge.
- f. 2r : vierge avec deux traces de contrecollage et une légende manuscrite à la mine de plomb : "Les Alpes vues de Bienne 1843.
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Alfred de Vigny Collection

by
Artcurial
November 15, 2016, 2:30 PM CET

Paris, France

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For less than 10 bottles, Artcurial's shipping department can provide shipping fares which include softpacking and express couriers.
Otherwise, Artcurial can advise appropriate clearing agent and shippers. Please notice that shipping wines towards some specific countries as USA is very difficult (various constraints related to customs regulation) or impossible.

Contact : département Transport- par email :
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