[The Salon of Baron Gros]

Artist: Baron Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros (French, 1793–1870)

Date: 1850–57

Medium: Daguerreotype

Dimensions: Image: 22 x 17.1 cm (8 11/16 x 6 3/4 in.)

Classification: Photographs

Credit Line: Purchase, Fletcher Fund, Joyce F. Menschel Gift, Louis V. Bell Fund, Alfred Stieglitz Society and W. Bruce and Delaney H. Lundberg Gifts, 2010

Accession Number: 2010.23


Gros's exceptional mastery of the technical aspects of the daguerreotype was paired with a refined visual sensibility, seen here in the richness of the setting and the subtle and seductive play of light. Every detail is perfectly calibrated–the ewer carefully silhouetted in the window, the stylish high-back chair positioned invitingly in the glancing sunlight, the daguerreotypes on the easel clearly visible despite their mirrorlike surfaces, and the closed curtains providing a theatrical backdrop. It is an interior and a still life–but most of all it is a portrait of Baron Gros's social standing, aesthetic discernment, travels, and talent.