[Table Top Still Life with Model Cathedral and Small Sculptures]

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

Date: ca. 1856

Medium: Salted paper print from glass negative

Dimensions: 20.0 x 26.1 cm (7 7/8 x 10 1/4 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 1987

Accession Number: 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 garden-ladders, rakes, barrows, and the like-or 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.