About This Image
From Mecanisme de la Physionomie Humaine. GuillaumeBenjamin Amand Duchenne de Boulogne was assisted in the photography by Nadar's younger brother, Adrian Tournachon.
See: Duchenne de Boulogne 1806-1875, published by the Musee de Beaux Arts, Paris.
Duchenne studied the mechanism of facial expression during emotion; his atlas of photographs is a most important contribution to medical photography. Duchenne produced photographs of his experimental methods for activating individual muscles by using small electric shocks on patients, images which are directly linked to a scientific text. His images, however, are far from neutral scientific records, and indeed Duchenne had taken some instruction in portraiture from Nadar's brother Adrien Tournachon (1825– 1903). They are visually striking, lit in a manner akin to that of contemporary art portraiture, and
presented as exemplars for those practicing the ‘plastic arts’.
Duchenne saw art and science as two sides of the same coin, and his strong religious faith doubtless sustained him in this view. As a result he produced some of the most famous portraits of 19th-century photography.
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Medium Albumen print from glass negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1856 Print Date 1856-58
Dimensions 9 x 6-7/8 in. (229 x 175 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France