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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*Oeuvres d’artistes best sellers|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Artworks by best-selling artists|icon-bestsellers*bestsellers facet,10503*Werke von Bestseller-Künstlern|icon-bestsellers*werke-von-kunstlern-bestseller facet,10503*Obras de los artistas más vendidos|icon-bestsellers*obras-de-los-artistas-mas-vendidos category,6*Peinture*peinture category,6*Painting*painting category,6*Gemälde*gemalde category,6*Pintura*pintura 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 facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)*moyen facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)*moyen facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 115 x 115 cm)|medium*moyen facet,8274*Moyen (\u003c 45 x 45 inch)|medium*moyen facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)*grand facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)*grand facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 200 x 200 cm)|large*grand facet,8277*Grand (\u003c 80 x 80 inch)|large*grand facet,1629*Abstraite*abstraite facet,1629*abstrakt*abstrakt facet,1629*Abstract*abstract facet,1629*abstracto*abstracto facet,10497*Oeuvres d'artistes célèbres|icon-masterpieces*artistes-celebres facet,10497*Artworks by famous artists|icon-masterpieces*masterpieces facet,10497*Werke berühmter Künstler|icon-masterpieces*werke-beruhmter-kunstler facet,10497*Obras de artistas famosos|icon-masterpieces*obras-de-artistas-famosos facet,8259*Our recommendations|icon-recommendations*recommendations facet,8259*unsere Empfehlungen|icon-recommendations*unsere-empfehlungen facet,8259*Nos recommandations|icon-recommendations*recommandations facet,8259*Nuestras recomendaciones|icon-recommendations*nuestras-recomendaciones price,1001:5000 facet,1635*Street art*street-art facet,1635*arte callejero*arte-callejero facet,1635*Straßenkunst*street-art category,5*Sculpture*sculpture category,5*Skulptur*skulptur category,5*Escultura*escultura category,9*Photography*photography category,9*Photographie*photographie category,9*Fotografie*fotografie category,9*Fotografía*fotografia facet,1671*Nature*nature facet,1671*Natur*natur facet,1671*Naturaleza*naturaleza facet,1644*Portrait*portrait facet,1644*Porträt*portrat facet,1644*Retrato*retrato facet,1686*Pop Art*pop-art facet,1686*Arte pop*arte-pop facet,1686*Pop-Art*pop-art 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,23*Dessin*dessin category,23*Zeichnung*zeichnung category,23*Fine Art Drawings*drawing category,23*Dibujo*dibujo price,1000:501 facet,1641*Akt*akte facet,1641*Nus*nus facet,1641*desnudos*desnudos facet,1641*Nude*nude category,15*Edition*edition category,15*Print*print category,15*Druck*editionen category,15*Edición*edicion facet,1827*Portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Hochformat*orientation-portrat facet,1827*Portrait|portrait*orientation-portrait facet,1827*Retrato*orientation-retrato facet,1827*Retrato|portrait*orientation-retrato facet,1827*Hochformat|portrait*orientation-portrat 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,1830*Paysage*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Paisaje*orientation-paisaje facet,1830*Landscape*orientation-landscape facet,1830*Landschaft*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Paisaje|landscape*orientation-paisaje facet,1830*Paysage|landscape*orientation-paysage facet,1830*Landschaft|landscape*orientation-landschaft facet,1830*Landscape|landscape*orientation-landscape facet,8301*Oeuvres en promotion|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Special Offers|icon-promotions*vergunstigte-werke facet,8301*Special offers|icon-promotions*promotions facet,8301*Trabajos en promoción|icon-promotions*trabajos-en-promocion 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,1674*Etchleben*etchleben facet,1674*Scène de vie*scene-de-vie facet,1674*Everyday life*everyday-life facet,1674*Escena de la vida*escena-de-la-vida facet,1680*Tier*tier facet,1680*Animales*animales facet,1680*Animaux*animaux facet,1680*Animal*animal facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)*petit facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 20 x 20 inch)*petit facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 50 x 50 cm)|small*petit facet,8271*Petit (\u003c 20 x 20 inch)|small*petit 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 80 x 80 inch)|very-large*very-large facet,8280*Very large (\u003e 200 x 200 cm)|very-large*very-large facet,126*acrylique*acrylique facet,126*acrylic*acrylic facet,126*Acryl-*acryl facet,126*acrílico*acrilico facet,108*huile*huile facet,108*al oleo*al-oleo facet,108*oil*oil facet,108*Öl*ol price,50001 facet,1668*Noir et blanc*noir-et-blanc facet,1668*Black and white*black-and-white facet,1668*Schwarz und weiß*schwarz-und-weiss facet,1668*Blanco y negro*blanco-y-negro price,5001:10000 facet,1632*Architecture*architecture facet,1632*Die Architektur*die-architektur facet,1632*Arquitectura*arquitectura facet,1659*Flore*flore facet,1659*Flora*flora facet,1659*Floral*floral facet,1659*Flores*flores facet,1650*Paysage urbain*paysage-urbain facet,1650*Paisaje urbano*paisaje-urbano facet,1650*Städtische Landschaft*stadtische-landschaft facet,1650*Urban Landscape*urban-landscape facet,12*noir|050002*noir facet,12*Black|050002*black facet,12*schwarz|050002*schwarz facet,12*negro|050002*negro price,10001:25000 facet,42*Rouge|FC2912*rouge facet,42*Red|FC2912*red facet,42*rot|FC2912*rot facet,42*Rojo|FC2912*rojo price,25001:50000 facet,30*Dark blue|0707BD*dark-blue facet,30*bleu foncé|0707BD*bleu-fonce facet,30*Dunkelblau|0707BD*dunkelblau facet,30*azul oscuro|0707BD*azul-oscuro facet,1692*Geometric*geometric facet,1692*Géométrique*geometrique facet,1692*Geometrisch*geometrisch facet,1692*Geometría*geometria
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Our recommendations David Lynch, Emily scream #1, Photography

David Lynch

Emily scream #1, 2008
84 x 84 cm
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$11,471

Our recommendations Bert Stern, Marilyn Monroe: The Last Sitting Portfolio 4, Photography

Bert Stern

Marilyn Monroe: The Last Sitting Portfolio 4, 1962
61 x 61 cm
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$20,000

Hunter & Gatti, Strangers, Photography

Hunter & Gatti

Strangers, 2020
76 x 61 x 0.3 cm
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$6,000

Our recommendations Bernard Pras, Banania, Photography

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Banania, 2014
97 x 81 x 3 cm
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$5,736

Monika Nowak, Oh Yeah, Photography

Monika Nowak

Oh Yeah, 2015
140 x 70 x 2 cm
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$1,491

Rémy Badan, L'Ethiopien, Photography

Rémy Badan

L'Ethiopien, 2021
50 x 50 x 0.2 cm
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$1,377

Our recommendations Hassan Hajjaj, V.B.F., Photography

Hassan Hajjaj

V.B.F., 2011
72 x 48 x 1 cm
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$19,501

Grzegorz Sikorski, Blue, Photography

Grzegorz Sikorski

Blue, 2019
50 x 50 x 0.1 cm
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$218

Our recommendations Nobuyoshi Araki, Sans Titre, Photography

Nobuyoshi Araki

Sans Titre, 2000
10.8 x 8.9 cm
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$1,090

Ed Feingersh, Marilyn on the Roof, Photography

Ed Feingersh

Marilyn on the Roof, 2020
76.2 x 50.8 cm
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$718

Elena Raceala, Chimera, Photography

Elena Raceala

Chimera, 2021
91.4 x 61 x 0.3 cm
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$1,170

Alexander Benz, Touchy, Photography

Alexander Benz

Touchy, 2021
80 x 80 x 0.1 cm
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$2,065

Clara Delaporte, La Maison Rose - Diptyque 1, Photography

Clara Delaporte

La Maison Rose - Diptyque 1, 2018
45 x 30 x 1 cm
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$1,262

Clara Cena, Absorbés par le temps - 18, Photography

Clara Cena

Absorbés par le temps - 18, 2018
60 x 60 x 0.2 cm
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$665

Claire Luxton, The Wishing Well, Photography

Claire Luxton

The Wishing Well, 2020
135 x 100 x 5 cm
Photography

$6,892

Our recommendations Man Ray, Untitled Portrait of Female, Photography

Man Ray

Untitled Portrait of Female, 1940
25.7 x 26 cm
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$3,000

Marco Girolami, Goddess Clara from Burlesque Project, Photography

Marco Girolami

Goddess Clara from Burlesque Project, 2011
21 x 14 x 0.3 cm
Photography

$574

Vincent Citot, Le piège de glace, Photography

Vincent Citot

Le piège de glace, 2019
50 x 75 x 1 cm
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$1,004

Giana De Dier, The portal, Photography

Giana De Dier

The portal, 2021
33 x 26 x 1 cm
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$1,606

Cecil Beaton, Queen Elizabeth II On Her Coronation Day, Photography

Cecil Beaton

Queen Elizabeth II On Her Coronation Day, 2020
50.8 x 50.8 cm
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$725

Our recommendations James Sparshatt, Maiden of Tsonga, Photography

James Sparshatt

Maiden of Tsonga, 2004
40 x 50 cm
Photography

$797

Eyoeal Kefyalew, Kanzanchis (Lingering II), Photography

Eyoeal Kefyalew

Kanzanchis (Lingering II), 2017
56 x 56 x 1 cm
Photography

$688 $551

Letaru Dralegu, My sister's Keeper, Photography

Letaru Dralegu

My sister's Keeper, 2020
40 x 31.7 x 1 cm
Photography

$2,294 $1,606

Forough Yavari, Salvation, Photography

Forough Yavari

Salvation, 2020
61 x 76.2 x 0.1 cm
Photography

$3,200

Eden, Regard, Photography

Eden

Regard, 2021
40 x 60 x 0.3 cm
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$3,441

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

Lucien Clergue

Picasso Preside la Corrida - Frejus, 1962, 1962
45.7 x 55.9 cm
Photography

$12,000

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

Annie Leibovitz

Andy Warhol, New York City, 1976
50.8 x 40.6 cm
Photography

$50,000

Emanuele Ravagnani, Insta #8, Photography

Emanuele Ravagnani

Insta #8, 2020
12 x 8.5 cm
Photography

$367

Larry Clark, Sans titre 3 (Jonathan), Photography

Larry Clark

Sans titre 3 (Jonathan), 2005
23 x 17 x 0.02 cm
Photography

$401

Our recommendations Claude Lévêque, Oriflamme, Photography

Claude Lévêque

Oriflamme, 2019
30 x 30 x 1 cm
Photography

$631

Our recommendations John Kenny, Kashi, Photography

John Kenny

Kashi, 2014
67 x 45 x 2 cm
Photography

$1,319

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

Diane Arbus

A Widow in Her Bedroom, 55th St, NYC, 1963
35.6 x 27.9 cm
Photography

$50,000

Joanna Chudy, Oblivion. Hidden identity., Photography

Joanna Chudy

Oblivion. Hidden identity., 2019
50 x 60 cm
Photography

$792

Our recommendations Brno Del Zou, Tiphaine #2, Photography

Brno Del Zou

Tiphaine #2, 2013
100 x 90 x 16 cm
Photography

$4,130

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

Tony Frank

Gainsbourg et sa marionnette#2, 1973
60 x 50 x 1 cm
Photography

$3,441

Our recommendations Dina Goldstein, Voodoo, Photography

Dina Goldstein

Voodoo, 2014
45 x 58 x 1 cm
Photography

$5,162

Christopher Makos, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, Photography

Christopher Makos

Andy Warhol and Keith Haring, 1983
38.1 x 48.3 cm
Photography

$4,500

Pierre Terrasson, Mick Jagger "le poing" Londres, Photography

Pierre Terrasson

Mick Jagger "le poing" Londres, 1987
50 x 40 cm
Photography

$1,147

Samuel Cueto, Silence, Photography

Samuel Cueto

Silence, 2014
50 x 40 cm
Photography

$1,032

Our recommendations Feng Kaixuan, Don de soi 5, Photography

Feng Kaixuan

Don de soi 5, 2015
60 x 90 x 1 cm
Photography

$4,703

J.Léo, The Pool, Photography

J.Léo

The Pool, 2018
59.9 x 59.9 cm
Photography

$1,950

Our recommendations Walker Evans, Burroughs Family, Alabama, Photography

Walker Evans

Burroughs Family, Alabama, 1936
27.9 x 28.6 cm
Photography

$5,000

Pierre et Gilles, Le doigt de dieu Etienne Daho, Photography

Pierre et Gilles

Le doigt de dieu Etienne Daho, 2017
25 x 18 x 1 cm
Photography

$5,162

Our recommendations Franz West, Platonic Moon, Photography

Franz West

Platonic Moon, 2003
30 x 42.7 x 1 cm
Photography

$1,721

Monika Nowak, Crazy Stacy, Photography

Monika Nowak

Crazy Stacy, 2017
80 x 80 x 3 cm
Photography

$4,130

Our recommendations David Drebin, Photographing herself, Photography

David Drebin

Photographing herself, 2009
50 x 64 cm
Photography

$5,162

Mehdi Mirbagheri, Série Pin Up N°1, Photography

Mehdi Mirbagheri

Série Pin Up N°1, 2015
80 x 80 x 1 cm
Photography

$2,294

Our recommendations Pierre Schwartz, Victoire Montmorency, Photography

Pierre Schwartz

Victoire Montmorency, 2010
80 x 80 cm
Photography

$918

Our recommendations David Djian, Hope, Photography

David Djian

Hope, 2019
80 x 53.33 x 0.2 cm
Photography

$860

Our recommendations Daniel Giry, Miss K7, Photography

Daniel Giry

Miss K7, 2016
60 x 90 x 3 cm
Photography

$1,943

Our recommendations Louis Blanc, TEstacEus, Photography

Louis Blanc

TEstacEus, 2011
100 x 100 x 0.3 cm
Photography

$2,065

Gérard Rancinan, Shanghai Gym, Photography

Gérard Rancinan

Shanghai Gym, 2008
103 x 103 cm
Photography

$6,883

Our recommendations Karine Paoli, Têtes d'Affiches #3, Photography

Karine Paoli

Têtes d'Affiches #3, 2001
122 x 76 x 3 cm
Photography

$2,294

Our recommendations Ka Xiaoxi, Taylor, Photography

Ka Xiaoxi

Taylor, 2009
40 x 60 x 0.2 cm
Photography

$1,663

Our recommendations Yagazie Emezi, When Did A Piece Fall Off #4, Photography

Yagazie Emezi

When Did A Piece Fall Off #4, 2016
41.9 x 59.4 cm
Photography

$850

Our recommendations Stefanie Schneider, Every single incident weighs tons (The Girl behind the White Picket Fence), Photography

Stefanie Schneider

Every single incident weighs tons (The Girl behind the White Picket Fence), 2013
20 x 20 x 0.1 cm
Photography

$631

Monica Denevan, Anchor, Photography

Monica Denevan

Anchor, 2013
40 x 50 cm
Photography

$1,162

Ifig, Jungle Fever (Série), Photography

Ifig

Jungle Fever (Série), 2021
42 x 30 cm
Photography

$574

Fabienne Cresens, La montée des eaux, Photography

Fabienne Cresens

La montée des eaux, 2018
100 x 100 cm
Photography

$1,262

Our recommendations Irene Cruz, Drowning in Blue e5, Photography

Irene Cruz

Drowning in Blue e5, 2018
25 x 25 x 1 cm
Photography

$424 $340

Bruno Fournier, Sans titre I, Photography

Bruno Fournier

Sans titre I, 2017
60 x 90 x 3 cm
Photography

$1,377

Our recommendations Angélique, White Spirit I, Photography

Angélique

White Spirit I, 2005
50 x 40 cm
Photography

$1,721

Our recommendations Muriel Deumie, Dans la machine, Photography

Muriel Deumie

Dans la machine, 2021
80 x 60 x 1 cm
Photography

$631

Robin Austin, Marilyn Monroe, Photography

Robin Austin

Marilyn Monroe, 2016
102 x 135 x 1 cm
Photography

$11,471

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