Artist: Louis-Rémy Robert (French, 1810–1882)

Date: 1850–55

Medium: Salted paper print from paper negative

Dimensions: 27 x 35.2 cm (10 5/8 x 13 7/8 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, Joseph Pulitzer Bequest, 1996

Accession Number: 1996.363.2


This rare and beautiful photograph-the only known print of this image-comes from a small series of views made at Romesnil, in Normandy. By virtue of their scale, complexity, and authority, they represent a high point of Robert's oeuvre. Here, a dilapidated wooden barn, crumbling stucco outbuildings, pebbly road, and pile of sticks are vehicles for an exquisite study of tone and texture. Robert, who in the kilns of Sèvres daily transformed natural elements of earth, water, and fire, found a more compelling beauty at Romesnil in nature's gradual reclaiming of humanity's constructions.