books of the month
Search our site
Are You Sleeping by Kathleen Barber Read the opening extract of the brand new Kathleen Barber book before its publication on 27/12/2017

Victor Regnault and the Advance of Photography The Art of Avoiding Errors by Laurie Dahlberg

Victor Regnault and the Advance of Photography The Art of Avoiding Errors


Victor Regnault and the Advance of Photography The Art of Avoiding Errors by Laurie Dahlberg

This lavishly illustrated book establishes the towering influence of the scientist Victor Regnault (1810-1878) in the earliest decades of photography, a period of experimentation ripe with artistic, commercial, and scientific possibility. Regnault has a double significance to the early history of photography, as the first leader of the Societe Francaise de Photographie (S.F.P.) and as the maker of more than two hundred calotype (paper negative) portraits and landscapes. His photographic and scientific careers intersected a third field with his appointment in 1852 as director of the Sevres porcelain works. Readers are treated to Regnault's own beguiling pastoral, garden, and forest scenes; striking portraits of the scientists and artists in his circle of friends; quirky images of acoustic experiments; and an insider's view of the Sevres porcelain works. Regnault's richly varied photographs also encompass perhaps the most extensive group of family portraits in early photography, and his romanticized landscapes reflect a moment when the rural outskirts of Paris were being aggressively suburbanized and industrialized. Occupying a unique and powerful position in the overlapping spheres of photography, science, industry, and art, Regnault was elected president of the newly formed S.F.P. in 1855. By examining his intertwined activities against the backdrop of French photography's nascent pursuit of institutional legitimacy, this book illuminates an important and overlooked body of images and the irregular cultural terrain of early photography.


In Laurie Dahlberg's Victor Regnault and the Advance of Photography, you will find much to satisfy both curiosity about photography's early technology and pleasure in his subjects... A fascinating book, it combines stunning images with a thoughtful biography. --Maggie McDonald, New Scientist Laurie Dahlberg has resorted the record of Regnault's contributions during the critical decades of photography's introduction in France. She successfully conveys the importance and relevance of Regnault's work--and the evolving impact of photography--across several disciplines. --Helena E. Wright, Technology and Culture

About the Author

Laurie Dahlberg is Associate Professor of Art History and Photography, and Chair of the Program in Art History, at Bard College. She has contributed essays to numerous books and exhibition catalogues.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

14th January 2005


Laurie Dahlberg

More books by Laurie Dahlberg
Author 'Like for Like'


Princeton University Press


208 pages


Individual photographers
History of art & design styles: c 1800 to c 1900
History of science



I love reading books I wouldn't normally choose before everyone else gets to read them!

Dawn Lynch

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

They are bright, breezy and eager to offer a great book, then genuinely listen/respect the review one writes.

Maggie Crane

A great place to go to find your next literary escape, and where you don't have to judge a book by its cover!

Suzanne Beney

Lovereading is a wonderful way to expand my literary horizons, discover inspiring authors & get the chance to read new novels first. #loveit

Zarina de Ruiter

I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!


It has opened my eyes to different authors and genres. Just log on and try, you will be surprised and not want for reading material again.

Jocelyn Garvey

Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!

Rachel Bridgeman