Louis–Rémy Robert (French, 18101882)
Salted paper print from glass negative; 7 7/8 x 10 1/4 in. (20 x 26.1 cm)
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1987 (1987.1052)
Due to the slow speed of early photographic emulsions, outdoor still life was an important genre for the medium's first practitioners. Generally they photographed either the paraphernalia of the dooryard or gardenladders, rakes, barrows, and the likeor they brought interior ornaments outside to arrange in the sunshine. Robert's still life of objects at Sèvres is an oddly dreamy mélange of exterior and interior, animate and inanimate. Vases are set among orange trees and sprites dance amidst Gothic and Rococo conceits on the dappled landscape of the tabletop.