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Portrait Photography

In the 1830s, Nièpce discovered the process for setting images onto pewter plates. In 1833, upon Nièpce’s death, Louis Daguerre and François Arago continued his experiments and invented the daguerreotype, a process which created a printed image on a silver plate that had been exposed to light. Photography was born.

Similarly to how portrait painting had dominated artistic output in previous centuries, portrait photography was to become the pillar of the Second French Empire’s photographic industry. Lenses with a shorter focal length, which enabled reduced exposure times, gradually appear on the market. The required equipment was expensive and difficult to handle. Some photographers, called daguerreotypists, decided to open their own photography studios to make a profit from their endeavours. The daguerreotype process was temperamental, and photographers had to take their pictures with great precision and attention to detail. They welcomed many people into their studios and customers choose how they wished to be photographed from catalogue of poses. Originally only accessible to the bourgeoisie, lower prices resulting from the growing number of studios eventually attracted a wider customer base. This phenomenon infuriated the poet Charles Baudelaire who was frustrated by the sense of narcissism sparked by the daguerreotypists.

Despite his protests, the egotistical trend only grew with the emergence of ‘carte de visite’ portraits (small photographs, the size of today’s business cards). These were the brainchild of Adolphe Eugène Disdéri came up with the idea of producing portraits akin to visiting cards in 1859. He printed eight portraits in a variety of poses onto a single plate and once developed they could be cut up into eight distinct “visiting cards”. Very popular with the bourgeoisie, they highlighted the sitters’ social status. ‘Carte de visite’ portraits featuring celebrities were also sold to customers, who could subsequently add them to their albums.

The photographer Nadar was one of the first to demonstrate a conscious artistic approach to producing these portraits. He emphasised facial expressions and ensured the sitter was comfortable and at ease before taking the photograph. He photographed the era’s greatest thinkers and artists, including Honoré de Balzac, George Sand, and Victor Hugo. He even managed to reconcile Baudelaire with portraiture.

At the end of the 19th century, the art of photography started to enter the mainstream, with the arrival of the Kodak company. The use of the camera, and the taking of portraits, became everyday occurrences. A century later, it was the invention of the digital camera which challenged the status quo. Whereas before alterations could only be made to photographs when they were being taken or developed, with the digital camera editing became easier, quicker and more convenient. Digital photography has given photographers much more freedom when it comes to editing and new methods and techniques are constantly being explored.

Some of the photographers who have left their mark on the last century include: Cindy Sherman, who excelled in self-portraits, Annie Leibovitz, who captured celebrities, the wacky duo, Pierre and Gilles, as well as Diane Arbus, Irving Penn, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, and Bettina Rheims.

So, do portraits help us to learn more about each other, to remember, to invent, to act, or to reconnect with ourselves? Find out on Artsper, by exploring the works of Formento & Formento, Naomi Vona, Ahmed Bennani, Chou Ching Hui, Samuel Cueto, Brno del Zou, Ren Hang, Markus + Indrani, Jerome Liebling as well as Annina Roescheisen.



Collector’s Guide: Collecting Fine Art Photographs

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price,500 facet,10503*Werke von Bestseller-Künstlern|icon-bestsellers*werke-von-kunstlern-bestseller facet,10503*Oeuvres d’artistes best sellers|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Artworks by best-selling artists|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Obras de los artistas más vendidos|icon-bestsellers*obras-de-los-artistas-mas-vendidos price,501:1000 facet,10500*Young Talents|icon-youngtalents*youngtalents facet,10500*Oeuvres d'artistes émergents|icon-youngtalents*jeunes-talents facet,10500*Werke von aufstrebenden Künstlern|icon-youngtalents*werke-von-jungen-kunstlern facet,10500*Obras de artistas emergentes|icon-youngtalents*obras-de-artistas-emergentes facet,10500*Werke aufstrebender Künstler|icon-youngtalents*werke-von-jungen-kunstlern category,6*Painting*painting category,6*Gemälde*gemalde category,6*Peinture*peinture category,6*Pintura*pintura facet,1629*Abstraite*abstraite facet,1629*abstracto*abstracto facet,1629*abstrakt*abstrakt facet,1629*Abstract*abstract facet,8259*Our recommendations|icon-recommendations*recommendations facet,8259*Nos recommandations|icon-recommendations*recommandations facet,8259*unsere Empfehlungen|icon-recommendations*unsere-empfehlungen facet,8259*Nuestras recomendaciones|icon-recommendations*nuestras-recomendaciones price,1001:5000 facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)*moyen facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*moyen facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*moyen facet,10497*Werke berühmter Künstler|icon-masterpieces*werke-beruhmter-kunstler facet,10497*Obras de artistas famosos|icon-masterpieces*obras-de-artistas-famosos facet,10497*Oeuvres d'artistes célèbres|icon-masterpieces*artistes-celebres facet,10497*Artworks by famous artists|icon-masterpieces*masterpieces facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*grand facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)*grand facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*grand facet,1635*Street art*street-art facet,1635*Straßenkunst*street-art facet,1635*arte callejero*arte-callejero category,5*Sculpture*sculpture category,5*Skulptur*skulptur category,5*Escultura*escultura category,9*Photography*photography category,9*Photographie*photographie category,9*Fotografía*fotografia category,9*Fotografie*fotografie facet,1686*Pop Art*pop-art facet,1686*Pop-Art*pop-art facet,1686*Arte pop*arte-pop facet,1671*Nature*nature facet,1671*Natur*natur facet,1671*Naturaleza*naturaleza facet,1644*Portrait*portrait facet,1644*Retrato*retrato facet,1644*Porträt*portrat price,1000:501 facet,1641*Nude*nude facet,1641*Akt*akte facet,1641*Nus*nus facet,1641*desnudos*desnudos facet,1827*Portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Retrato|portrait*orientation-retrato facet,1827*Portrait|portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Hochformat|portrait*orientation-portrat facet,1827*Retrato*orientation-retrato category,23*Dessin*dessin category,23*Fine Art Drawings*drawing category,23*Zeichnung*zeichnung category,23*Dibujo*dibujo facet,8277*Large (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*large facet,8277*Large (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*large facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)*tres-grand facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*tres-grand facet,8280*Très grand (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*tres-grand category,15*Edition*edition category,15*Print*print category,15*Druck*editionen category,15*Edición*edicion facet,8301*Oeuvres en promotion|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special offers|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special Offers|icon-promotions*vergunstigte-werke facet,8301*Trabajos en promoción|icon-promotions*trabajos-en-promocion facet,1830*Paysage*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Landschaft*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Landscape*orientation-landscape facet,1830*Paysage|landscape*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Landscape|landscape*orientation-landscape facet,1830*Landschaft|landscape*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Paisaje|landscape*orientation-paisaje facet,1674*Everyday life*everyday-life facet,1674*Scène de vie*scene-de-vie facet,1674*Etchleben*etchleben facet,1674*Escena de la vida*escena-de-la-vida facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)*medium facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)*medium facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*medium facet,8274*Medium (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*medium facet,1680*Tier*tier facet,1680*Animal*animal facet,1680*Animaux*animaux facet,1680*Animales*animales facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)|small*petit facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)*petit facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 20 x 20 inch)|small*petit facet,1668*Black and white*black-and-white facet,1668*Noir et blanc*noir-et-blanc facet,1668*Schwarz und weiß*schwarz-und-weiss facet,1668*Blanco y negro*blanco-y-negro facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*very-large facet,1632*Architecture*architecture facet,1632*Die Architektur*die-architektur facet,1632*Arquitectura*arquitectura price,5001:10000 facet,1650*Paysage urbain*paysage-urbain facet,1650*Städtische Landschaft*stadtische-landschaft facet,1650*Urban Landscape*urban-landscape facet,1650*Paisaje urbano*paisaje-urbano facet,1659*Flore*flore facet,1659*Flora*flora facet,1659*Floral*floral facet,1659*Flores*flores price,50001 price,10001:25000 facet,1692*Géométrique*geometrique facet,1692*Geometric*geometric facet,1692*Geometrisch*geometrisch facet,1692*Geometría*geometria facet,12*noir|050002*noir facet,12*Black|050002*black facet,12*schwarz|050002*schwarz facet,12*negro|050002*negro facet,42*Rouge|FC2912*rouge facet,42*Red|FC2912*red facet,42*rot|FC2912*rot facet,42*Rojo|FC2912*rojo facet,1656*Graphic*graphic facet,1656*Graphique*graphique facet,1656*Gráfico*grafico facet,1656*Grafik*grafik facet,108*Öl*ol facet,108*huile*huile facet,108*oil*oil facet,108*al oleo*al-oleo facet,126*acrylique*acrylique facet,126*Acryl-*acryl facet,126*acrylic*acrylic facet,126*acrílico*acrilico price,25001:50000
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Feng Hatat, Tamago 3, Photography

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Monika Nowak, Oh Yeah, Photography

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Our recommendations Nobuyoshi Araki, Sans Titre, Photography

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Grzegorz Sikorski, Capuccetto Rosso, Photography

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Ed Feingersh, Marilyn on the Roof, Photography

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Richard Unglik, The milkmaid, Unglik original, signed by the artist, Photography

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Elena Raceala, Chimera, Photography

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Clara Delaporte, La Maison Rose - Diptyque 1, Photography

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Clara Cena, Absorbés par le temps - 18, Photography

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John French, The Wet Set, Photography

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Claire Luxton, The Wishing Well, Photography

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Our recommendations Man Ray, Untitled Portrait of Female, Photography

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Géraldine Rué, Le shaman Tuwe, Photography

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Marco Girolami, Goddess Clara from Burlesque Project, Photography

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Vincent Citot, Le piège de glace, Photography

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50 x 75 x 1 cm
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Cecil Beaton, HRH Princess Elizabeth, Photography

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Giana De Dier, The portal, Photography

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33 x 26 x 1 cm
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Malika Diagana, Le silence de l’humanité, Photography

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Charlotte Yonga, Joséphine D., Photography

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Forough Yavari, Salvation, Photography

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Salvation, 2020
61 x 76.2 x 0.1 cm
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Eyoeal Kefyalew, Kanzanchis (Lingering II), Photography

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Kanzanchis (Lingering II), 2017
56 x 56 x 1 cm
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Letaru Dralegu, My sister's Keeper, Photography

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Our recommendations Lucien Clergue, Picasso Preside la Corrida - Frejus, 1962, Photography

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Eden, Beauté cachée, Photography

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Our recommendations Annie Leibovitz, Andy Warhol, New York City, Photography

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Emanuele Ravagnani, Insta #8, Photography

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12 x 8.5 cm
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Larry Clark, Sans titre 3 (Jonathan), Photography

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Our recommendations Claude Lévêque, Oriflamme, Photography

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30 x 30 x 1 cm
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Our recommendations John Kenny, Kashi, Photography

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Joanna Chudy, Oblivion. Hidden identity., Photography

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Our recommendations Diane Arbus, A Widow in Her Bedroom, 55th St, NYC, Photography

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Our recommendations Brno Del Zou, Tiphaine #2, Photography

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Our recommendations Tony Frank, Gainsbourg et sa marionnette#2, Photography

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Samuel Cueto, Silence, Photography

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50 x 40 cm
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Our recommendations Dina Goldstein, Voodoo, Photography

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Our recommendations Feng Kaixuan, Don de soi 5, Photography

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Christopher Makos, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, Photography

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J.Léo, The Pool, Photography

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Our recommendations Walker Evans, Burroughs Family, Alabama, Photography

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Mehdi Mirbagheri, Série Pin Up N°1, Photography

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Série Pin Up N°1, 2015
80 x 80 x 1 cm
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Pierre et Gilles, Le doigt de dieu Etienne Daho, Photography

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Our recommendations Muriel Deumie, Dans la machine, Photography

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Our recommendations Irene Cruz, Drowning in Blue e5, Photography

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Our recommendations Franz West, Platonic Moon, Photography

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Our recommendations David Djian, Hope, Photography

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80 x 53.33 x 0.2 cm
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Our recommendations David Drebin, Photographing herself, Photography

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Our recommendations Pierre Schwartz, Victoire Montmorency, Photography

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Our recommendations Ka Xiaoxi, Taylor, Photography

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Our recommendations Louis Blanc, TEstacEus, Photography

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TEstacEus, 2011
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Gérard Rancinan, Shanghai Gym, Photography

Gérard Rancinan

Shanghai Gym, 2008
103 x 103 cm
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Our recommendations Karine Paoli, Têtes d'Affiches #3, Photography

Karine Paoli

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122 x 76 x 3 cm
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Our recommendations Yagazie Emezi, When Did A Piece Fall Off #4, Photography

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Bruno Fournier, Sans titre I, Photography

Bruno Fournier

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60 x 90 x 3 cm
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Monica Denevan, Anchor, Photography

Monica Denevan

Anchor, 2013
40 x 50 cm
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Ifig, Jungle Fever (Série), Photography

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Fabienne Cresens, La montée des eaux, Photography

Fabienne Cresens

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100 x 100 cm
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