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COLOUR 
PHOTOGRAPHY 

AND OTHER RECENT 
DEVELOPMENTS OF THE 
ART OF THE CAMERA 



EDITED BY CHARLES HOLME 




MCMVIII 

OFFICES OF,, THE STUDIO" 

LONDON, PARIS & NEW YORK 



PREFATORY NOTE. 

IN considering the recent important developments which have 
taken place in photography, more especially as regards the 
question of colour, the fact should not be lost sight of that, 
notwithstanding the introduction of many improved processes during 
recent years, colour-photography is still in its infancy. It is, there- 
fore, the Editor's intention to deal with this important branch of the 
subject only as regards the results which have so far been obtained, 
and to do so with a view to contemplating its artistic possibilities 
rather than its scientific aspects. 

Much has already been said and written about photography in 
relation to the Arts. Attempts have been made to draw comparisons 
between the work of the painter and that of the photographer ; and 
in dealing with colour-photography the tendency to join issue 
with the painter is naturally increased. But the Editor considers 
that it is to the best interests of photography that it should be 
regarded apart, and any artistic success that may be obtained is better 
judged on its own merits rather than by the standards set up by the 
painter or engraver. Endeavours to reproduce effects obtained by 
these artists are in themselves opposed to the spirit of true photo- 
graphy, and only display a lack of appreciation of the possibilities 
of the camera, and the opportunity it offers for the attainment of 
original effects. In this respect it is gratifying to find that many 
of the plates which have been submitted in connection with this 
volume bear distinct evidence of the independence of the photo- 
grapher, and justify the belief that colour-photography will be 
developed on original and progressive lines. 

Whilst photography in natural colours cannot be regarded as an 
entirely new development, it is only quite recently that it has been 
brought within the range of practical pictorial work by the intro- 
duction of the autochrome plate, and fourteen of the coloured 
illustrations given here are reproduced from plates of this nature. In 
selecting them the Editor has endeavoured to show various effects that 
can be obtained by the process ; and, apart from any artistic qualities 
they may possess, it is interesting to note the different results which 
some of the leading photographers have arrived at in using these 
plates. No pains have been spared to give in each case a true repre- 
sentation of the autochrome as it appears when held up to the light ; 
but it will be readily understood that, owing to the peculiar nature 
of the originals — which exist, of course, only as transparencies — these 
coloured reproductions are exceedingly difficult to accomplish. 
Similar care has been bestowed upon the illustrations in monochrome 

A 2 



'#1 



in order that the quality of the original print may, in each case, be 
rendered as closely as possible. These illustrations speak for them- 
selves, and it has not been considered necessary to refer to them at 
any length in the article. Moreover, the subject of artistic photo- 
graphy has been fully discussed in the Special Summer Number ot 
"The Studio" for 1905, entitled " Art in Photography." 
The Editor desires to tender his thanks to all those who have so 
readily come forward to assist him in the preparation of this volume 
by allowing their work to be reproduced, and to others who sub- 
mitted examples which are only excluded owing to want of space 
or because they arrived too late. 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN COLOUR 

No, 

Portrait of Mrs. GreifFenhagen. By J. Craig Annan (autochrome) i 

Portrait of Miss Jessie M. King. By J. Craig Annan (autochrome) 8 

A Late Winter Sun. By Dr. H. Bachmann (gum print) 1 5 

The Blue Dress. By Alvin Langdon Coburn (autochrome) 22 

Autumn Landscape. By Alvin Langdon Coburn (autochrome) 3 1 

The Lady in Red. By Alvin Langdon Coburn (autochrome) 38 

The Sisters. By Frank Eugene (autochrome) 45 

A Sunlit Street, Berne. By J. Dudley Johnston (gum print) 51 

Portrait Group. By Heinrich Kiihn (autochrome) 57 

Playmates. By Heinrich Kiihn (autochrome) 6^ 

Stiff Life. By Baron A. De Meyer (autochrome) 69 

Still Life. By Baron A. De Meyer (autochrome) 75 

Still Life. By Baron A. De Meyer (autochrome) 81 

Portrait of " Mrs. W. M." By G. E. H. Rawlins (autochrome) 87 

Landscape. By G. Bernard Shaw (autochrome) 93 

Christmas Roses. By F. W. Urquhart (autochrome) 98 

The Thames. By E. Warner (oil print) 105 

An Old Waterway, Exeter. By E. Warner (oil print) 1 10 



ILLUSTRATIONS IN MONOCHROME 



The Bonfire. By Frances Allen 
Bed-time. By Frances Allen 
Boy with Hoop. By Mary Allen 
Book-plate. By J. Craig Annan 
Stonyhurst College. By J. Craig Annan 
Stirling Castle. By J. Craig Annan 
To Leeward. By Malcolm Arbuthnot 
The Donkeyman. By Malcolm Arbuthnot 
The River. By Malcolm Arbuthnot 
Bankslde. By Malcolm Arbuthnot 
Evening Silhouette. By Malcolm Arbuthnot 
A Tangle after a Storm. By Walter Benington 
The Church of England. By Walter Benington 
The Thaw. By Annie W. Brigman 
The Sweets Shop. By Eustace Calland 



2 

4 

3 

5 
6 

7 

9 

10 

II 

12 

13 
14 
16 

17 
18 



Illustrations in Monochrome — continued No. 

The White Sail. By Alvin Langdon Coburn 19 

The Silver Cup. By Alvin Langdon Coburn 20 

Santa Maria Delia Salute. By Alvin Langdon Coburn 2 1 

Lambeth Reach. By Fannie E. Coburn 23 

A Flower Woman. By Fannie E. Coburn 24 

On the Maas, near Dordrecht. By R. Lincoln Cocks 25 

The Stadhuis Tower, Veere. By R. Lincoln Cocks 26 

Lowestoft Harbour — A Rainy Day. By Reginald Craigie 27 

Finishing Touches. By Dwight A. Davis 109 

Harlech. By George Davison 28 

The Onion Field. By George Davison 29 

Honfleur. By Robert Demachy 30 

Falaise. By Robert Demachy 32 

Louise. By Robert Demachy 33 

The Seine at Clichy. By Robert Demachy 34 

Study of a Head. By C. J. Von Diihren 37 

Portrait. By R. Diihrkoop 35 

Spring. By Leopold Ebert 36 

By the Sacred Gate, Algiers. By Gustavus Eisen in 

Minuet. By Frank Eugene 39 

The Bridge. By J. H. Field 112 

Study of a Head. By Siri Fischer-Schneevoigt 40 

Portrait. By David Octavius Hill 41 

Greyfriars Churchyard. By David Octavius Hill 42 

Portrait of a Boy. By David Octavius H ill 43 

Portrait. By David Octavius Hill 44 

Church Porch in Altmiinster. By Dr. Julius Hofmann 46 

St. Vigilio del Garva. By T. & O. Hofmeister 47 

Houses and Poplars. By T. & O. Hofmeister 48 

Autumn Sunshine. By Charles Job 49 

Snow in the City. By J. Dudley Johnston 50 

The White Bridge. By J. Dudley Johnston 52 

Liverpool — An Impression. By J. Dudley Johnston 53 

The Broken Pitcher. By Gertrude Kasebier 54 

Portrait. By Gertrude Kasebier 55 

The Letter. By Gertrude Kasebier 56 

Josephine. By Gertrude Kasebier ^8 



Illustrations in Monochrome — continued j^^ 

The Bridge. By Alexander Keighley ^^ 

Spring Pastoral. By Alexander Keighley 60 

Portrait of " Mrs. De C." By Joseph T. Keiley 61 

Courtyard at Weissenlcirchen. By Hermann C. Kosel 62 

In the Dunes. By Heinrich Kiihn 64 

Study. By Heinrich Kiihn 65 

The Hilltop. By Heinrich Kuhn 66 

Luiz Lopez. By Baron A. de Meyer 67 

Gitana of Granada (" Bonlta "). By Baron A. de Meyer 68 

Portrait of Mrs. Brown-Potter. By Baron A. de Meyer 70 

Helen. By Hervey W. Minns 113 

The Majestic Main. By F. J. Mortimer 71 

Don Quixote — Self Portrait. By Cavendish Morton 72 

The Dancer. By Cavendish Morton 73 

Lise-Lotte. By Cavendish Morton 74 

Portrait. By Dr. Felix Muhr 76 

Landscape. By Ward Muir 77 

After the Snowstorm. By Ward Muir 78 

Landscape. By H. W. Miiller 79 

Landscape. By H. W. MuUer 80 

Portrait. By Nicola Perscheid 82 

Arcadia. By Paul Pichier 83 

Steps at the Villa d'Este, Tivoli. By Paul Pichier 84 

Bohemian Landscape. By Karel Prokop 85 

And more to come. By G. E. H. Rawlins 86 

The Pianist. By Guido Rey 88 

Milking Time. By Guido Rey 89 

Eileen. By Eva Watson Schiitze 90 

Mother and Child. By Eva Watson Schiitze 91 

Tribute. By George H. Seeley 92 

The Dawn. By George H. Seeley 94 

The Crystal. By George H. Seeley 95 

Autumn. By George H. Seeley 96 

The White Screen. By George H. Seeley 97 

Horses. By Alfred Stieglitz . 99 

Goats — Decorative Landscape. By Alfred Stieglitz 1 00 

In the New York Central Yards — Snapshot. By Alfred Stieglitz 10 1 



i/U 



Illustrations in Monochrome — continuea p^o 

" Miss C." — Study. By Alfred Stieglitz and Clarence H. "White 102 

Notre Dame. By W. Orison Underwood 103 

Portrait of a Boy. By Clarence H. White 104 

Landscape with Figure. By Clarence H. White 106 

Portrait of" A. L. C." By Clarence H. White 107 

Portrait of Mrs. White. By Clarence H. White 108 



■v 







COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 

HE most vivid and arresting, if not actually the 
most valuable, of all the recent developments 
associated with Photography's name is that deli- 
cate discovery of the Brothers Lumiere — the 
flower of a long course of painful experiments in 
chromo-culture — which has given the worker 
power to keep the intrinsic colours of his theme 
intact ; and we have accordingly thought it proper 
to devote this article to a consideration of the autochrome process, 
of the esthetic value of its results, of the validity of their claim to 
serious artistic regard. And there is another and a deeper reason 
for this distinction. Just as a drop of actual pigment will instantly 
transform a glass of clear water, so the introduction of this element 
of colour immediately and profoundly changes the character of the 
issues involved, the nature of the conclusions we may have formed 
regarding the Photographer's right and title, the human value and 
purpose of the pictures he produces. 

But let not the autochromist on that account be emboldened to 
indulge in any complacent mockery at the expense of the critical 
function ; for, so doing, he might provoke a rather deadly retort. 
For, indeed, it seems highly questionable whether the auto- 
chromist, or the colour photographer of any kind, is yet entitled 
to receive attentions from art critics, whether he is not bound to 
be considered — if not always, at least for the present — simply as 
the adroit exponent of a singular mechanical device, a device 
possessing much of profound scientific value, producing results 
which, as records, memoranda, souvenirs, are of quite intense 
interest and some considerable charm. The autochrome pictures 
in this volume, for instance : can it really be said of them t"hat they 
compel that swift unmistakable stir of the senses — half rustle ot 
contentment, half thrill of disquiet, which is the body's signal ol 
the presence of authentic art ? Let the reader turn to them again. 
Let him pass them slowly in review, deliberately inhaling the odd 
quality — piquant, curious, staccato — which they all, in their various 
degrees, possess. Never before has it been possible to arraign so 
representative a series ; autochromes by workers so diverse in their 
distinction as Mr. Bernard Shaw and Mr. Heinrich Kiihn have 
never before been laid side by side ; and the unique image on the 
Lumiere transparent " positive " has never hitherto been reproduced 
with so much sensitive and meticulous loyalty. The reader can be 
certain, therefore, that he is at least dealing fairly with the new 

I 



^ 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 
craft. All the evidence lies openly before him ; it merely remains 
for him to authorise his senses to deliver sentence frankly. 
And as he listens to that nervous pronouncement I think that he 
vk^ill find, almost without exception, that it falls into two main 
divisions. Each of these divisions is prefaced by a brief spurt of 
quick wonder, itself a kind of pleasure indeed, but of no more real 
account than a formal introduction to a speech : it is only when that 
delight in the mere novelty of the thing, that admiration for its 
ingenuity, has briskly effervesced and faded that the really funda- 
mental utterance begins to reach him. He is looking, let us say, 
at Mr. Bernard Shaw's little landscape (No. 93) — the grey church 
tower rising up among the autumn leafage, the slant of cloudless 
sky ascending sharply behind ; and he finds that his sensation is 
almost precisely that which he gets when he looks at a piece ot 
nature through the wrong end of a telescope — the effect of a 
sharpened and acidulated nature, a nature curiously tense and 
glittering, almost metallic. And he turns from this, let us say, 
to such an ambitious figure-study as Mr. Kiihn's " Playmates " 
(No. 63), a piece of deliberate picture-making, with models posed 
and equipped ; and he finds here, just as inevitably, that the effect 
is that of a picture which has been suddenly robbed of all those deli- 
cate nerves and tendons of pervasive colour-chords, the sly echoes 
and running threads, which the painter uses to pull his work into 
one mounting accordance. Those are the two sensations, one or 
other of which, in a greater or a less degree, will be provoked by 
almost all the colour-pictures in this book. The spectator finds 
on the one hand, that is to say, that his enjoyment is never more 
than that which comes from hearing a rather tart echo of Nature. 
Or he finds, on the other, that his enjoyment is always less than 
that which comes in the presence of a painted picture. 
These are significant conclusions. Before we accept them as final, 
however — before we enforce the verdict which they seem to make 
inevitable, there is yet one court of appeal to which the case can 
be referred. For these slight divergencies — the absence of those 
uniting threads of colour, the presence of that hard open-air asperity 
— might be merely the result of the temporary clumsinesses and 
uncertainties which follow the acquisition of any new power: as 
the fingers grow more skilful, the secret of those sly interweavings 
may be acquired, some method of sweetening that tartness be 
discovered. We must attempt, therefore, to ascertain how far these 
qualities are inherent and therefore irremediable, or how far they 
are accidental and momentary. We must approach the matter 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 

from the point of view of technique. We must consider its 
material endowment, and attempt some definition of its especial 
physical basis. 

Now the instrument that actually effects a revolution is almost always 
a quite light and piquant thing, a bright, explicit culmination — 
like the barb that tips a spear. A statesman sums up a vague policy 
in an epigram, and instantly the great change is accomplished ; a 
loose and lumbering conviction has but to pass into a proverb — and 
it rules the mind of a nation as firmly as a natural law ; and the 
achievement of the Brothers Lumiere, like so many other epoch- 
making discoveries, is in reality little more than a peculiarly delicate 
and adroit epitome of the principles involved in the cumbrous and 
distended processes of any number of detached and unsuccessful 
workers. The striped plates of Dr. Joly of Dublin, the not dis- 
similar " Florence " experiments of Powrie of Chicago — the 
practically identical process invented by MacDonough in America 
— the old theoretical method of Becquerel — the more famous but 
no less labyrinthine, laborious and impractical processes of Lippmann : 
the laws and convictions embedded in all these efforts, on the one 
hand, and the trichromatic principles involved in the experiments or 
Ducos du Hauron and Cros and their successors and allies on the 
other hand, have all been neatly epitomized, by these two French 
scientists, in a kind of physical epigram — all the clutter of laboratory 
auxiliaries which broke the back of the first kind of effort being 
neatly summed up on the surface of a single plate, and all the treble 
exposures, subsequent syntheses, and so forth, which group about the 
second, being brusquely concentrated into a single exposure and a 
solitary self-sufficient image. The Clark-Maxwells and the Lipp- 
manns laboriously shaped the shaft, brought the principles together, 
and hammered them roughly into shape. It was left to the Lumieres 
to fit the pungent barb, and so, with one deft touch, transform a rude 
and barbarous curiosity into a glittering revolutionary weapon. 
The result of this, or at least one of the results, is that whilst it 
would take a full volume to explain the useless process of Lipp- 
mann, the triumphantly practical methods of the Lumieres can be 
described in a couple of sentences. Starch-grains coloured green, 
starch-grains coloured violet, and starch-grains coloured orange 
(green, violet, and orange being, of course, the three prime colours) 
are equally commingled, so that they seem to form a uniform grey 
dust, and are then densely and adroitly marshalled, some four millions 
to the square inch, on the surface of a single plate ; and it is over 
this fabulous army that the sensitive film of panchromatic emulsion, 

3 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 
the chemical prison which captures the image, is delicately out- 
stretched. The result of this elaborate and perfect ambush is a 
complete surrender on the part of the colour-rays. No matter what 
its nature, no matter whence it emanates, the arriving ray can find 
no portion of the plate unoccupied by a battalion of starch-grains 
perfectly aware of its peculiar weaknesses, perfectly fitted to deal 
with it in exactly the most appropriate way. Challenged, interro- 
gated, disarmed, and captured thus subtly and infallibly, it is at 
last transferred, in a state of naked exactness, to its due place in 
the transparent positive ; and there, in the company of countless 
other rays similarly entrapped, it builds up that precise image ot 
church, or cloud, or child, from which the reproduction in this 
book was ultimately made. 

An exquisite automatic delicacy resulting in an image of unyielding 
exactness — that, then, is the physical basis of this autochrome 
process ; and our task is to discover what manner of aesthetic 
structure it is possible to erect on such a base. And when we 
examine the case for Autochrome in this bare way, picked clean 
and reduced to its simplest elements, two decidedly ominous 
circumstances begin to thrust themselves forward. For we find, 
in the first place, that the " exquisite automatic delicacy " is ot 
such a jealous nature that it becomes the stern enemy of all 
subsequent delicacies. And we find, in the second, that the 
"unyielding exactness" of the image is veracious in that fanatical 
way which is really a kind of fierce falsehood, that the image is 
truer to Nature than Nature is true to herself, so implacably 
precise that it is in effect a distortion. 

Let us consider these two momentous attributes in turn, ... As 
to the first, it must be evident to all that the moment the human 
hand creates a machine of greater delicacy than itself, it instantly 
surrenders its right to intervene and shrinks into subordination. 
That,'''at all events, is precisely what has happened here. The 
subtlety of this autochrome instrument, the exquisite nature of the 
operations conducted by those incredibly well-drilled battalions ot 
billions of delicate discs, makes it absolutely impossible for the human 
hand to interfere in any way, to offer to aid or to modify the plan 
of attack, to introduce a partial armistice or to release any of the 
colours once they have been made captive. The operator has to 
stand helplessly aside whilst these lilliputian Frankensteins of his 
creation automatically conduct their own unswerving campaign. 
All other recent developments in photography have been curiously 
complementary : with every development of the scientific side of its 

4 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 

nature there has generally marched a corresponding and balancing 
development of the aesthetic side — apparatus of increasing exactness 
being equalised by new licences conferred on the operator — the 
orthochromatic plate (let us say) being counterbalanced by the 
Rawlins Oil Process. But in the case of this last vivid development 
no such complementary freedom has thus far been conferred. It 
would seem as though Science, swollen by the marvellous nature of 
her latest achievement, had grown intolerant of control or interruption ; 
had decided to keep the whole matter rigidly in her own hands. 
U intervention, at all events, is utterly impossible in autochrome work. 
Creation by Manipulation is forbidden in colour work ; and one of 
the three pathways by which alone the photographer can hope to 
reach the summit of the Sacred Hill is thus rigidly barricaded. 
And when we turn to the second of those ominous physical cir- 
cumstances, to the extravagant accuracy of the final image, this 
total inability to modify appears a yet more serious defect, the 
vivid chains of office with which Science has loaded the worker 
bear a still more striking resemblance to actual fetters and gyves. 
It is this extravagant accuracy, of course, this fanatical truthful- 
ness, which is responsible, in landscape-work, for that odd effect 
of acidity, of asperity, which we noticed at the outset ; and it 
is scarcely more difficult to prove its inevitability than it is to 
demonstrate its existence. For Delacroix's canary-coloured cab 
has not driven round the world's studios in vain, and the theory 
of complementary colours is as popular a piece of knowledge as 
even the Darwinian theory. We all know that when we survey 
a landscape we do not see each colour independently, at its intrinsic 
value, but that all sorts of strange feuds and alliances going on 
between the colours as they settle themselves in the chambers of 
the eye result in an image curiously interwoven and interdependent 
— this colour being subordinated to that, another thrilling warmly 
in response to the attentions of a fourth, a fifth and six entering 
darkly into a sinister suicidal pact. Detach any one colour from 
the sweep of sea, sky, field, and shore — guard it with your hands, 
as you look at it, so that it may be held free from the interference 
of its neighbours, and you will find that its colour is a very different 
thing from that which it wears when you let your hands fall and 
the whole great company of yellows, blues, and greens burst upon 
the sight at once. The actual intrinsic yellow of the sand is 
flushed almost to flesh-colour by the vivid green of the grass ; 
the water beyond it deepens its blue a little in response to the 
glow of the beach ; and even the purple distance behind you. 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 
the long range ot rolling woods whose aspect still rings and echoes 
subtly in your senses, is not without a secret influence, inducing the 
whole orchestration to vary its tone some fine and delicate degrees 
further. 

But the Lumiere plate, freed from the frailties of the human eye, 
sternly represses these chromatic love-matches and quarrels. The 
colour that it registers is the native colour : the valid, separate 
blue of the sea — the independent gold of the shore — the green 
of the grass as the grass would seem if the world were one vast 
prairie. The result, when the eye turns from scene to picture, 
from original to unflinching reflection, is a sharp sense of shock, 
an acute metallic thrill. The senses, perhaps, strive to reorganise 
the colours, attempt to mollify the rigour ; and it is possible 
(although it cannot yet be stated with any certainty) that they 
do manage to work the colours together into something more 
nearly approaching the suavity of the image they derive from 
Nature. But it is a feat which they are physiologically debarred 
from performing successfully : the difference between the size of 
the three-dimensional original and the two-dimensional repro- 
duction inevitably baffles them ; and the autochrome landscape 
remains something of a cold bath, a little discomforting and 
austere, — something very far removed from either that sensuous 
illusion called nature, or that voluptuous reality called art. 
" But herein," it may be urged, " lies, surely, one clear and 
obvious method of creation. Since the effect of the picture is 
so different from the effect of the original, and since ' Art is 
art because it is not nature,' may it not be that it is by dint of 
just this piquant and acerb disparity that the autochromist will 
be enabled to provide beautiful and enduring bodies for emotions 
which would otherwise remain intangible and untransmittable. 
Creation by Manipulation, you point out, is clearly barred. 
Granted ; but what about a second pathway. Creation by Pure 
Technique ? Does it not seem as though this extra keenness 
and acidity of the colours, this slight change in their relations, pro- 
vided the autochromatic equivalent to that exchange of colour for 
tone, of nature-quality for process-quality, which may be regarded 
as one of the proofs of the monochromist's claim to the royal 
rank of artist ? " 

It is a good argument and entirely pertinent ; and it would, in 
addition, be entirely conclusive if it dealt with any other element 
in life than this extraordinary element of colour. Were the modifi- 
cation a matter of tonal-modification, or even of lineal, then the 

6 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 

resultant picture would still, quite probably, be beautiful. Were 
it merely a case of darkening a sweep of grey or changing the 
values of a monochromatic pattern or altering the distribution of 
light and shade, then the disturbance might well evolve something 
new and strange but still entirely lovely. But the beauty of colour 
is a thing that stands apart. No other kind of loveliness is so 
fragile ; none is guarded by laws whose least infraction is visited 
with sterner or more instant punishment. There is no deep edict 
which declares that an angle of 40° is infallibly exquisite but one 
of 38° an intolerable outrage; but there is an irrevocable principle 
in Nature which asserts that purple and gold are a splendid har- 
mony, but that purple and pink form an aesthetic crime. There 
are no rigid rules which define the exact shade of grey which must 
appear beside a certain tone of black ; but there is an eternal law 
which thunderously condemns as unhallowed the marriage of mauve 
and magenta. The last great peace will have arrived before the 
fierce hostility of puce and vermilion will have been finally patched 
up. The morals and religions of men may melt and waver inter- 
minably, but the mating of certain colours will always strike the 
mind into a sudden agony of horror, as though in the presence of 
something actually obscene. 

A perfect arrangement of colour, then, is something far too sensitive 
— rests upon a framework far too exquisite and frail — for any rough- 
and-ready transmutations. Nothing is rarer than a perfect eye for 
colour ; nothing in the whole range of art is more difficult to evolve 
than a conclusive and elaborate colour-scheme : how, then, can we 
expect this haphazard transition of the autochromist, carried through 
rigidly and mechanically, without any guidance or control from the 
human hand, to result in anything save discord ? Once in an endless 
series of experiments, indeed, the miracle may happen, and a new and 
intricateharmony wonderfully emerge. But exceptions of this sort prove 
no artistic rule ; they are happy accidents, disenfranchised children of 
chance ; they give the operator no right to call himself their creator ; 
they do not sanctify the art to which they come. . . . 
Equally with the manipulatory avenue, then, this route of Creation 
by Pure Technique is barred to the colour-photographer ; for he 
lacks as well that keyboard of alternative processes which the 
Davisons, the Coburns, the Craig Annans, in their dehcate, non- 
colour moments, play upon so delightfully. There accordingly 
remains to be considered only the third of the pathways — that 
form of photographic artistry, of temperamental expression, which 
may be called Creation by Isolation. 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 
And it is here, it seems to me, that the esthetic possibilities ot 
autochrome are chiefly to be found ; it is certainly to this province, 
at all events, that the most successful and most satisfying auto- 
chromes in this book (I will name them in a moment), without 
exception, belong. At the same time, one is compelled to confess 
that the difficulties, even here, are enormous. Ransacking the 
magnificent clutter and waste-heap of Nature for that fine fragment, 
that odd, unrealised trifle, whose beauty would seem non-natural 
and new in isolation, the monochromist has always to bear in mind, 
not only the need for novelty but also the necessity for beauty — 
for beauty of line, mass, tone, disposition, curve ; and the necessity 
for seeing these things in relation to the ultimate little niche for 
which he designs it — in relation to the boundary lines of his print 
and in the especial terms of his process — is, as we have seen, one 
of the main difficulties of his task. But in the case of the colour- 
worker this vast difficulty is multiplied to positively nightmare 
proportions by the simultaneous need for discovering, coincident 
with this beauty of mass, line, distribution, and so forth, that much 
rarer and more perishable thing, a perfect melody of colour. Very 
often, ot course, in the midst of the lavish out-of-door design, you 
do find neglected colour-harmonies of quite exquisite perfection. 
The painter knows these things, seeks them out, studies them 
diligently, learns all their secrets, and then uses them for his private 
ends. But he nourishes no hope of finding them coincident with 
the harmonies of mass and line. He nurses no mad expectation 
of discovering Nature singing a duet. He is content to find his 
lineal melody in one place, his chromatic melody in another, and 
then, by dint of his own craft, to blend and interweave them 
artfully, so that they ring out from his canvas perfectly braided 
and attuned. 

No such trick or combination, as we have seen, is in any wise 
possible to the autochromist ; and he, accordingly, must idealisti- 
cally fix his hopes upon the presumptive existence, somewhere in 
the labyrinth, of that wonderful coincidence, that miraculous and 
abnormal duet. He must search landscape after landscape, and 
pierce deep into the dense jungle of reality, upheld by nothing 
more tangible than the faint theoretical hope, that, somewhere in 
nature, since there is a Law of Average, those two voices will be 
heard rising up in faultless and exquisite accord. It is not a quest 
one wholly envies him ; but in common fairness one admits the 
possibility ot a successful issue ; and one earnestly wishes him 
success. 

8 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 

And in common fairness, too, one gladly admits as well that when 
he deserts landscape for genre work, for a certain kind of por- 
traiture, and (especially) for a certain sort of still-life treatment, he 
reduces the difficulties of the game so considerably that he makes 
it a very genuine and legitimate mode of activity. For, once indoors, 
he can himself play the part of deus ex machina, and, descending to 
the rdle of stage-manager, can drag properties hither and thither 
until he succeeds in producing something which contains that 
much-desired coincidence. It is not, perhaps, the lightest or airiest 
of tasks ; it compares somewhat drably with the less manual 
activities of the painter ; for he has to do laboriously and physi- 
cally what the brush accomplishes by a single flicker and dab. But 
that he can accomplish the task and give us, as a result, certain 
sensations of rich and delicate value, some of the flower-studies of 
Baron de Meyer — which form perhaps the most successful auto- 
chromes in this book — testify quite completely. His " Still-life," 
with the General Jacqueminots drooping so delightfully out of 
the delicately chosen bowl is distinctly a piece of creation (No. j^) : 
it is itself beautiful ; its beauty has been deliberately captured, the 
product of a decisive effort of " imaginative reason " ; and it is a 
beauty recondite and remote, very diffisrent from the rather dis- 
tracting and insouciant beauty which would emanate from the 
actual flowers, the actual bowl and drapery. And even more perfect 
is the dexterous and memorable little arrangement in red-bronze 
and lacquer-green (No. 69). These two pictures are certainly pieces 
of art, their maker (even if he had produced no monochrome 
pictures) would certainly have proved his right to the ancient and 
honourable title. 

It is by a similar process of stage carpentry that the other pictures 
which seem to me most successful have been granted the beauty 
that saves them : Mr. Coburn's " Blue Dress " (No. 22) and his 
" Lady in Red" (No. 38) ; Mr. Rawlins's " Mrs. W. M." (No. 87) ; 
Mr. Craig Annan's curious experiment in greens (No. 8) ; 
Mr. Kiihn's decidedly ambitious portrait-group of three (No. 57). 
In all of these the groupings have been done leisurely and 
deliberately ; the picture has been prepared as one prepares a 
stage-picture ; the Camera has merely been used to perpetuate it. 
And that method, it seems to me, is the only one by which the 
autochromist can hope, as yet, to produce pictures which are 
anything more than valuable records, significant and curious memo- 
randa, adroit exemplifications of a singular scientific discovery. 
" As yet." . . . Inevitably, one adds that safe-guard ; for " the 

B 9 



COLOUR PHOTOGRAPHY 
future," as the Japanese say, "is full of occasions," and one can 
scarcely doubt that to-morrow, or to-morrow's morrow, will bring 
a fresh discovery, a new development, which will perhaps replace 
the right of control in the worker's hands, and restore to him the 
sway momentarily usurped by Science. It is a fascinating possi- 
bility ; it stands as a kind of gateway to a kingdom of curious and 
enchanting speculations. But the present writer has already rigidly 
refused to play the part of prophet ; and through this attractive 
gateway he sternly declines to be lured. 

And, indeed, what he would rather suggest, in conclusion, is that 
Photography's true sphere, the place where she catches the hot 
instant on tip-toe, and perfectly prisons it for ever, must always 
be the world of monochrome ; for colour is too frail and sensitive 
a thing to submit to these sudden pouncings and butterfly captures. 
He would suggest that the Photographer should realise that quite 
clearly — not in order that he may experiment in autochrome less 
seriously, but that he may push his researches and experiments in 
monochrome more audaciously and vigorously still. For there, 
surely, tasks great enough and precious enough to satisfy the most 
ambitious still await his hand. 

DIXON SCOTT. 



LA PHOTOGRAPHIE 



EN COULEURS 



n 



\ 



II 



La Photographie des Couleurs 

ET LES REGENTS PROGRES 1)E LA PHOTOGRAPHIE EN GENERAL 



Note de I'Editeur 



En etudiant les impoitants piogies de la photogra- 
phie actuelle et surtout dans la question des couleurs, 
il ne faut pas oublier que malgre les nonibreux prece- 
des perfectionnes de ces recentes annees, la photogra- 
phie des couleurs est encore en enfance. Nous ne parle- 
ronsdoncde cette importante partie du sujet qu'au point 
de vue des resultats dejii obtenus, nous preoccupant 
plutot de son avenir artistique que de son cote scienti- 
fique. On a deja beaucoup dit et ecrit sur la Photogra- 
phie dans ses rapports avec les arts. On a cherche ;i 
I'aire des comparaisons entre I'oeuvre du peintre et celle 
du photographe et, a propos de la photographie des 
couleurs, on a tout naturellement insiste sur ses rap- 
ports avec la peinture. Xous croyons que dans I'interet 
de la photographie meme, il faut I'etudier i part ; le 
succes d'art qu'elle pourra obtenir sera mieux apprecie 
d'apres ses propres merites que par une comparaison 
avec I'oeuvre du peintre ou du graveur. Les tentatives 
faites pour reproduire deseffets obtenus par ces artistes 
sont en elles-meme opposees a I'esprit de la vraie pho- 
tographic et indiquent une meconnaissance de ce qu'on 
peut obtenir de la chambre noire et des ressources 
qu'elle ortre pour obtenir des eft'ets originaux. A cet 
egard on est heureux de constater, en regardant les 
planches du present volume, I'independance du photo- 
graphe et de pouvoir se dire que la photographie des 
couleurs se developpera dans un sensoriginal et progressif- 

Sans doute la photographie en couleurs naturelles 
n'est pas une chose tout a fait nouvelle, mais c'est tout 
recemment qu'elle est entree dans une voie pratique 
par I'invention de la plaque autochromatique, quatorze 
de nos illustrations en couleurs sont reproduites d'apres 
des plaques de ce genre. En les choisissant, nous avons 
voulu montrer les difterents elTets que Ton peut obte- 
nir par ce procede ; en dehors de leur valeur artistique 
il est interessant de noter les resultats diflferents que 
les maitres en photographie ont obtenus en employant 
ces plaques. Xous avons fait tons nos efforts pour 
donner ii chaque planche la veritable representation de 
I'autochrome telle qu'elle apparait lorsqu'onla met a la 
lumiere, mais on comprendra facilement que, en raison 
de la nature particuliere des originaux qui n'existent 



que par transparence, ces reproductions en couleurs 
soient extremement difficiles. 

Nous avons apporte un soin egal aux illustrations 
monochromes a fin que I'impression originate fOt ren- 
due aussi e.xactement que possible. Ces illustrations 
parlent d'elles-memes et nous n'avonspas cru necessaire 
de les expliquer dans le texte. Le sujet de la photogra- 
phie artistique a ete traite d'une fafon complete dans 
le nuniero special d'ete du Studio en 1905 sous le litre, 
de I'Art dans la Photographie. 

L'Editeur remercie tous ceux qui I'ont aide dans la 
preparation de cet ouvrage, et ceux aussi qui lui ont 
envoye des specimens qu'il n'a pu utiliserjaute de place, 
ou parce qu'ils lui sont parvenus trop tard. 

ILLUSTRATIONS EN COl^LEUR 

I. Portrait de Mrs Ortifftnhagen. par J. Craig Annin 

i^autochrome). 
8. Portrait de .1/'" Jtssie M. King, par J. Craig Annan 
(autochrome). 
15. Soleil de fin d'hiver, par Dr. H. Bachmann (tirage i la 

gomme). 
^- LaRo6eHeiie,fSiT Alvin Langdon Coburn 'autochrome) 
Paysage daiiiomne, par Alvin Langdon Coburn (auto- 

chrome|. 
La Dame en touge, par Alvin Langdon Coburn auto- 
chrome . 
les SiTurs, par Frank Eugene f.iutochrome). 
Rue ensoleiUee a Berne, par J. Dudley Johnston (lirage 
. i la gomme). 
Porlrait-Groupe, par Heinrich Kiihn (autochrome). 
Camarades, par Henrich Kuhn ^autochroraei. 
Xaliire morte, par le Baron A. de Meyer autochrome). 
A'ature morlt, par le Baron A.de Meyer autochrome;. 
Portrait de . M" "'. M ». par ^ E- "• «»»'">» 

(autochrome). 
Patsage, par G. Bcmaid Shaw (autochrome). 
Roses de SVel, par K. W. Urquharl 'autochrome). 
La Tamise, par E. Warner 'peinture i Ihuilel. 
Vieux Canal il Extttr, par E. Warner , peinture a 1 huile). 



31. 

38. 

45- 
51- 

57- 
63. 
69. 

75- 
87. 

93- 
98. 

105. 

ito. 



ILLUSTRATIONS EN MONOCHROME 

Le Feu de Joie. par Frances Allen. 

/< Couclier, par trances Allen. 

Enfant arec son ceneau. par .Mary Allen. 

Ex-lihris. par J. Craig Annan. 

Le college de Stonykurst, par J . Craig Annan. 

Le Mteau dt Stirling, par J. Craig Annan. 

Vers Lenoard, par .Malcolm Arbulhhot. 



La Photographie des Couleurs 



10. 

II. 

12. 

13. 

14- 
16. 

17- 
iS. 

19- 

20. 

2] . 
23. 
24. 

25- 
26. 
27. 
109. 
28. 
29. 
JO- 
32- 

33- 
34- 
37- 
35- 
36. 

III. 
39- 

112. 
40. 
41- 
42. 
43- 
44- 
46. 
47- 
48. 
49- 
50- 
52- 
53- 
54- 
55- 
;6. 

58- 



Lf mac/iitiiste. par Malcolm Arbuthnot. 59. 

La riviere, par Malcolm Arbuthnot. 60. 

Le Bord, par Malcolm Arbuthnot. 61. 

Sitliouetle dusoir, par Malcolm Arbuthnot. 62. 

Fih emmelh afiris forage par Walter Benington. 64. 

L'Eglise d'Angleterre, par Walter Benington. 65. 

Le degel, par Annie W, Biignian. 66. 

La boutique du confiseur, par Eustace Calland. 67. 

La voile /ilanche, par Alvin Langdon Coburn. 68. 
La coupe d'argent, par .\lvin Langdon Coburn. 

Santa Maria delta Salute, par .\lvin Langdon Coburn. 70. 

Lambeth Reach, par Fannie E. Coburn. 113. 

La fleuriste, par Fannie E. Coburn. 71 . 

Sout le Maas prh de Dordrecht, yAx R. Lincoln Cocks. 72. 

/a tour de Stadhuts Veere, par R. Lincoln Coks, 73. 

Leportde Lowestoft. —Jourdepluie, par Reginald Craigie 74 . 

Dernieres touches, par Dwight A. Davis. 76. 

Harlech, par George Davison. 77 . 

Le champ d'oignons, par George Davison. 78. 

Honfleur, par Robert Demac.iy. 79. 

Falaise, par Robert Demachy. 80. 

LoKise, par Robert Demachy. 82 . 

La Seine a Clichy, par Robert Demachy. 83. 

htude de tete, par C. J. Von Duhren. 8+. 

Portrait, par R. Duhrkoop. 85. 

Pr in temps, par Leopold Ebert. 86. 

La parte sacree h -ilger, par Gustavus Eisen. 88. 

Menuet, par Frank Eugene. 89. 

Le PoHt, par J. H. Field. 90. 

Elude de tete, par Siri Fischer-Schneevoigi. 91. 

Portrait, par David Octavius Hill. 92. 

/V;f//« (/« G«;»'/>-;«7-f, par David Octavius Hill. 94. 

Portrait d'unjeune garfon, par David Octavius Hill. 95. 

Portrait, par David Octavius Hill. 96. 

Porche de I'eglise a Altmunster, par Dr. Julius Hofmann 97. 

St. Vigilio del Garva, par T. et O, Hofmeister. 99. 

Maisons et peupliers, par T. et O. Hofmeister. lOO. 

Soleil d'auiomne, par Charles Job. loi. 

Neige dans la cite, par J. Dudley Johnston 102 . 
Le pout hlanc, par J. Dudley Johnston. 

Liverpool. — Impression, par J. Dudley Johnston. 103. 

La cruche cassee, par Gertrude Kiisebier. 104. 

Portrait, par Gertrude Kiisebier. 106. 

La lettre, par Gertrude Kasebier. 107. 

yoj*''*^/«f, par Gertrude Kasehier. 108. 



Le I'ont, par Alexander Keighley. 

Pastorate de Printemps, par Alexander Keighley. 

Portrait de n Mrs. de C. ». par Joseph T. Keiley 

Cour a Weissenkirchen, ^ArWtvmann C. Kosel. 

Dans les dunes, par Heinrich Kuhn. 

Etude, par Heinrich Kuhn. 

Le sommet de la colline. par Heinrich Kuhn. 

Za?> Lopez, par le Baron A. de Meyer. 

La Gitane de [Grenade « Bonita n par Ic- Baron 

.-\. de Meyer, 
Portrait de Mrs Broum-Potter .^^-xrXe Baron .\. de .Meyer 
Helene, par Hervey W. Minns. 
The .Majestic Mam, F. J. Mortimer. 
Don Quichotte, par Cavendish Morton. 
Le dansiur, par Cavendish Morton. 
Lise Lotte, par Cavendish Morton, 
Portrait, par Dr. Felix Muhr. 
Pay sage, par Ward Muir. 
Apris I'ouragan de neige, par Ward Muir. 
Paysage, par H. W. Muller. 
Pay sage, par H. W. Muller. 
Portrait, par Nicola Perscheid. 
Arcadia, par Paul Pichier. 

.Marches a la Villa d'Este, Tivoli, par Paul Picliier 
Paysage de Boheme, par Karel Prokop . 
Encore a venir, par G. E. H. Rawlins 
Le pianiste, par Guido Rey. 
L'heure de traire, par (Juido Rey. 
Eilen, par Eva Watson Schutze. 
.Mere et Enfant, par Eva Watson Schutze. 
Tribut, par George H. Seelej'. 
Le soir, par George H. Seeley. 
Z« cristal, par George H. Seeley. 
.-iK/oOTKf, par George H. Seeley. 
L'icran blanc, par George H. Seeley. 
Chevaux, par Alfred Stieglitz. 
Chk'res, par Alfred Stieglitz. 
Instantane pris a New-Yorh, par Alfred Stieglitz. 
« J/"- C. », etude par .Alfred Stieglitz et (.'larence 

White. 
Notre-Dame, par W. Orison Underwood. 
Portrait d'enfant, par Clarence H. White. 
Paysage avec figures, par Clarence H. White. 
Portrait de 1. A.L. C. *. par Clarence H. White. 
Portrait de M"'" White, par Clarence H. While. 



La Photographic des Couleurs 



La decouverte la plus curieuse, la plus frappante, 
sinon la plus importante qui ait hXh faite recemment en 
photographie est celle des Freres Lumiere. Elle est le 
fruit d'une longue serie d'experiences difficiles. Elle 
permet de conserver intactes les couleurs intrinseques 
d'un sujet. C'est pourquoi nous avons cru devoir con- 
sacrer cet article a I'etude du procede « autochrome », 
a la valeur esthetique de ses resultats, et au bien fonde 
de ses pretentions au point de vue de I'art. Une autre 
raison s'impose plus serieuse pour cette distinction. De 
mfime qu'une goutte d'un pigment approprie suffit a 
transformer imin6diateinent I'eau pure contenue dans 
un verre, ainsi I'introduction de cet element de couleur 
vicnt modifier profondement le caractere des resultats, 
2 



la nature des conclusions que Ton avait a donner sur les 
droits du photographe, la valeur humaine et I'avenir 
des tableau.x qu'il nous donne. 

Que le photographe autochromiste ne se croie pas 
autorise ici a prendre des airs de moquerie vis-a-vis du 
critique, il s'exposerait it une trop facheuse riposte. 
C'est qu'en verite, on pent se demander si I'autochro- 
miste, — c'est-a-dire le photographe des couleurs — 
quel qu'il soit, merite d'arreter I'aitention du critique 
d'art, s'il ne doit pas etre considere — sinon tou- 
jours au moins quant a present — simplement comme 
un habile ouvrier employant un procede mecanique 
curieux, procede d'une grande valeur scientifique don- 
nant comme notation, memorandum ou souvenir, des 



La Photographic des Couleurs 



resultats d'un tics grand interct et d'un charme consi- 
derable. Voyez les illustrations autochromatiques de eel 
ouvrage : Dira-t-on qu'elles donnent cette rapide 
impression des sens, k la fois fremissement de pkiisir et 
t'risson d'inquietude que nous eprouvons devant une 
oeuvre d'art authentique ? Que le lecteur les parcourt 
une fois de plus, qu'il les regarde lentement une a une, 
iiu'il apprecie la qualite bizarre, piquante « staccato » 
qu'elles ont toutes a differents degres. Jusqu'ici on 
n'avait pas pu reunir une collection aussi complete des 
autochromes obtenus pardesoperateursbien differents; 
M. Bernard Shaw et M. Heinrich Kuhn sont places 
cote a c6te et I'image unique du « positif » transparent 
de Lumiere n'avait jamais ete reproduiteavecautant de 
finesse et de meticuleuse loyaute. Le lecteur pent etre 
assure tout au moins d'etre en mesure de porter un 
jugement. Le cas est pose devant lui, il n'a plus qu'a 
laisser ses sens repondre franchement. 

Kt pendant qu'il s'apprete a ecouter leur verdict je 
crois qu'il fera deux grandes divisions. 

Cliacune d'elles est precedee d'un bref sentiment 
tic vif etonnement, sorte de plaisir sans rien de bien 
I eel; puis lorsque le plaisir de la nouveiute, I'admira- 
tion de I'ingeniosite du precede se sont evanouis, I'ob- 
servateur arrive a cette conclusion fondamentale. Suppo- 
sons qu'il regarde le petit paysage de M. Bernard 
Shaw (n' 93). La tour grise de I'eglise se dresse au 
second plan, dans le feuillage d'automne ; derriere, le 
ciel sans nuages, et il eprouve la meme sensation que 
devant un coin de nature qu'il regarderait par le petit 
bout de la lorgnette, effet d'une nature criarde etacido 
une nature curieusement s6che et brillante d'un eclat 
metallique. Si, ensuite, il regarde I'etude plus ambitieuse 
de M. Kuhn, « Camarades » (n° 63) il se trouve en pre- 
sence d'un veritable sujet de peinture avec modules en 
place et pares et il a immediatement I'impression d'etre 
devant un tableau qui serait soudain prive de tout ce 
qu'il y a de_delicat, de penetrant dans ses couleurs, sans 
les echos affaiblis, les cordes qui vibrent sous la main du 
peintre pour produire I'unisson. Voila les deux sensa- 
tions, I'une ou I'autre, a un degre plus ou moins fort> 
que Ton eprouvera devant presque toutes les illustra- 
tions en couleurs de cet ouvrage ; on se dit, d'une part, 
que le plaisir eprouve ne va pas au delii de celui qu'on 
aurait en ecoutant un echo un peu aigre de la nature ; 
on se dit aussi que ce plaisir est toujours moindre que 
celui qu'on a devant un tableau peint. 

Voila des conclusions significatives. Avant de les 
accepter comme definitives, avant d'appliquer le ver- 
dict qui semble inevitable, il est une cour d'appel devant 
laquelle nous pouvons porter le debat. Ces legeres 
divergences, I'absence de ces fils conducteurs de cou- 
leur, la presence de cette durete de plein-air, ne sont- 
elles pas le resultat d'une inhabilete momentan^e, d'une 



hesitation qui est le propre de toute nouvellc invention. 
Les doigts devenant plus habiles par I'usage, n'aura- 
t-on pas de meme le secret de cesldifffcultes, ne trou- 
vera-t-on pas un moyen d'adoucir cette rudcssc ? Chcr- 
chons done ce qu'il y a li-dedans d'inb^rent et d'irrt- 
mediable et, ce qu'il y a d'accidentel et de momentane. 
E.xaminons la question au point de vue technique. 
Voyons ce qu'il y a dans le precede et tachons de delinir 
sa base physique particuliere. 

L'instrument qui cITectue une revolution est presque 
toujours quelque chose de leger, de bizarre ; c'est 
comme la pointe qui termine une fleche. Un homme 
d'Etat resume une vague politique en une cpigramme 
et soudain un grand changement s'accomplit, une idee 
vague et pesante passe en proverbe, elle dirige I'csprit 
d'une nation aussi nettement qu'une loi naturelle. La 
decouverte des Freres Lumiere, comme bien d'autres 
decouvertes qui font epoque, est en realite un peu plus 
qu'un epitome particulierement delicat et adroit des 
principes contemis dans les recherches chaotiques de 
nombre de chercheurs : Plaques striees du D' Joly de 
Dublin; exjjeriences assez semblables « Florence » du 
Powrie de Chicago; proccde pratiquement identique de 
Mac-Donough en Amerique ; vieux procede theoriqne 
de Becquerel ; precedes plus connus mais non moins 
compliques, difficiles et irapraticables de Lippmann, 
toutes les lois et affirmations contenues dans ces efforts, 
d'une part, et de I'autre les principes trichromatiqucs 
contenus dans les experiences de Ducos du llauron, 
de Cros et de leurs successeurs ont ete resumees par 
ces deux savants fran9ais dans une sorte d'epigrammc 
physique, tout le vacarme des auxiliaires de laboratoire, 
la triple exposition, les syntheses subsequentes et le 
reste, tout cela se concentrant brusquement en une 
seule exposition et une image unique suffisantc par 
elle-meme. Les Clark-Maxwell et les Lippmann avaient 
peniblement fagonne I'arme, et I'avaient grossierement 
forgee. II etait donne aux Freres Lumiere d'afliner la 
pointe et cela d'une louche adroite, et de transformer 
une curiosity rude et barbare en une arme rcvolution- 
naire et brillante. 

Le resultat, ou, du moins. Tun des resuluts est que 
s'il faudrait tout un volume pour expliquer linuule 
procede de Lippmann, la triomphale methode pratique 
des Lumiere se pent decrire en quelques phrases. Des 
grains d'amidon colores en vert, des grains d'amidon 
colores en violet et des grains d'amidon colores en 
orange (le vert, le violet et I'orange etant les trois cou- 
leurs primitives), sont egalement melanges de fa?ona ne 
plus former qu'une poussifere grise ; ils sont alors etalcs 
habilement, h raison de quatre millions de grains par 
pouce carrc, sur la surface d'une plaque et sur cette 
fabuleuse armee la couche sensible d'cmulsion panchro- 
matique — prison chimique qui renfermera I'image — 

3 



La Photographic des Couleurs 



est delicatement repandue. Cette embuscade compli- 
quee et parfaite aboutit a une leddition complete des 
rayons de couleur. Quelle que soil sa nature, d'oCi qu'il 
vienne, le rayon qui arrive ne trouve pas un coin de la 
plaque qui ne soil occupe par un bataillon de grains 
d'amidon qui connait sa faiblesse particulicre et qui sail 
comment se comporter a son egard. Provoque, interroge, 
desarme, saisisubtilement et infailliblement il est enfin 
conduit dans un etat de parfaite exactitude a sa vraie 
place dans le positif transparent et la, en compagnie 
d'innombrables autres raj-ons egalement prisonniers' 
1 forme cette image precise d'une eglise ou d'un nuage, 
ou d'un enfant dont nous donnons ici une reproduc- 
tion . 

Une delicatesse automatique exquise produisant une 
Image d'une infaillible exactitude — voila done la base 
physique de ce procede autochrome. Cherchons main- 
tenant quelle fafon de construction esthetique nous 
pouvons edifier sur cette base. Et quand nous e.xami- 
nons ainsi le cas de I'autochrome reduit a ses plus sim- 
ples elements, deux fiicheuses circonstances se presen- 
tent devant nous. D'abord « cette delicatesse automa- 
tique exquise » est d'une jalousie telle qu'elle se dresse 
en ennemie declaree de toute autre delicatesse. Puis 
ensuite « cette infaillible exactitude de I'image » est 
vraie a ce point quelle devienl une sorte de terrible 
faussete, que I'image est plus vraie a la nature que la 
nature ne Test ii elle-meme et d'une fafon si implacable- 
ment precise qu'elle est, en fait, une alteration. 

Arretons-nous u ces deux points : 

Le premier d'abord. II est bien evident que le jour 
od la main de I'homme cree une machine plus delicate 
(|u'elle meme, elle perd tout droit ii intervenireta vou- 
loir commander. Et c'est precisement ce qui arrive. 
La finesse de cet instrument autochrome, la nature 
exquise des operations auxquelles se livrent ces batail- 
lons si merveilleusement entraines de billions de grains 
delicats, ne permettent plus a la main de I'homme une 
intervention, elle ne pent plus aider ni modifier le plan 
d'attaque, proposer un armistice, rendre la liberte a 
telle ou telle couleur emprisonnee. L'operateur doit 
rester les bras croises pendant que les Lilliputiens de 
sa creation poursuivent leurs inflexiblcs manoeuvres. 
Chose curieuse, tons les autres developpementsrecents 
en photographic ont ete complementaires. A chaque 
progres dc la pratie scientifique a correspondu un pro- 
gres dans la partie esthetique — I'exactitude plusgrande 
amenant de nouvelles libertes pour l'operateur, ainsi la 
plaque orthochromatique se contre-balanijant avec le 
procede ii I'huile de Rawlins. Mais ce n'est pas le cas 
avec le dernier progres dont nous parlons. II semblerait 
que la science en presence de sa merveilleuse decou- 
verte soit devenue impatiente de controle et d'interrup- 
tion et qu'elle ait resolu de toutgarder pour elle. En 

4 



tout cas, I'intervention devient tout a fait impossible 
dans rautochromatisme. Pas de creation par manipu- 
lation ct I'une des trois routes par lesquelles le photo- 
graphe peut esperer atteindre le sommet de la monta- 
gne sacree est rigoureusement fermee, 

Voyons maintenant la seconde de ces terribles cir- 
constances physiques, I'exactitude extravagante de 
I'image ;rimpossibilite complete de toute modification 
apparait comme un defaut plus serieux encore ; les 
liens dont la science a charge l'operateur sont bien de 
vraies chaines et de pesants boulets. Cette exactitude 
folle, cette verite exageree expliquent dans le paysage 
ce bizarre effet d'acidite, d'asperite que nous avonsdejii 
signale et il devient presque aussi difficile de prouvcr 
ce qu'il a d'inevitable que de demontrer son exis- 
tence. Le coucou jaune de Delacroix ne s'est pas pi'o- 
mene en vain dans le monde des ateliers et la theorie 
des couleurs complementaires est aussi connue que la 
theorie darwinienne. Xous savons tons quand nous 
regardons un paysage que nous ne voj-ons plus une 
couleur separeraent dans sa valeur intrinseque, mais 
que de toutes sortes d'alliances etranges entre les cou- 
leurs qui viennent frapper notre ceil, resulte une image 
curieusement tissee et melangee; telle couleur se su- 
bordonne a telle autre, celle-ci vibre devant une qua- 
trieme, une cinquieme et une sixieme disparaissant et 
comme se suicidant. Detachez une couleur du mouve- 
ment d'une vague, d'un ciel, d'un champ, d'un rivage, 
prenez-la dans votre main pendant que vous la regar- 
dez pour la separer de I'interference de ses voisines, 
et vous verrez que cette couleur est tres diflferente de 
celle que vous tenez dans votre main quand toute la 
gamme des jaunes, des bleus et des verts eclate en- 
semble a votre vue. Ce jaune intrinseque du sable 
prend une Sorte de couleur de chair devant le vert vif 
du gazon ; I'eau a des bleus plus profonds devant I'em- 
brasement de la greve et le pourpre du lointain, 
longue ligne de bois dontl'aspect retentit dans vossens, 
n'est pas sans influence sur I'orchestration tout entiere, 
la faisant changer de tons, lui donnantquelque chose de 
plus fin et de plus delicat. 

Mais la plaque de Lumiere n'a pas cette faiblesse de 
notre ceil, elle repousse ces combats d'amour et ces 
querelles chromatiques. La couleur qu'elle enregistre 
est la couleur native, c'est le bleu tout seu! de la mer, 
I'or independant du rivage, le vert de I'herbe comme 
serait I'herbe si le monde enticr n'etait qu'une vaste 
prairie. Le resultat, lorsque notre ceil passe de la scene 
il la representation, de I'original a la reproduction, est 
une sensation aigue de choc, comme un frisson metal- 
lique. Les sens arrivent peut-Stre a reorganiser les 
couleurs, ils cherchent a attenuer leur rigueur et il se 
peut — quoique cela ne soit pas certain — qu'ils arri- 
vent a arranger les couleurs, a en faire quelque chose 



La Phologj-aphie des Couleurs 



(liii ressemble plus a la douceur de I'image qu'ils 
tirent de la Nature. Mais c'est li une besogne queph)-- 
siologiquement ils sont incapables d'accomplir lieureu- 
sement; la difference entre I'etendue de I'original a 
trois dimensions et la reproduction a deux dimensions 
les dejoue; le paysage autochrome garde quelque 
chose d'un bain froid, quelque chose de deplaisant et 
d'austere, quelque chose d'aussi eloignedecette illusion 
sensuelle appele Nature que de cette voluptueuse realite 
appclee Art. 

Mais, dira-t-on, n'y a-t-il pas la une methodeclaire et 
sure de creation? Puisque I'effet de la peinture est si 
different de I'effet de I'original, puisque « I'Art est I'Art 
parce qu'il n'est pas la Nature, » en raison meme de 
cctte disparite piquantc et acerbe, I'autochromiste nc 
l)0urra-t-il pas donner a des choses belles et durables 
une emotion qui, sans lui, resterait intangible et incom- 
munisable ? Vous dites la Creation par la Manipulation 
est impossible. Soit : Mais la Creation par la seule 
Technique ? 

Precisement cette acuite, cette acidite de couleurs, 
ce changement dans leurs relations, ne donnent-ils pas 
un equivalent autochromatique a I'echange de couleur, 
uii procedc qui peut etre considere comnie une des 
preuves du droit qu'a le monochromiste au rang sou- 
verain d'artiste ? 

C'est la sans doute un bon argument, tout a fait per- 
tinent et qui serait entierement concluant s'il s'agissait 
dun autre element dans la vie qUe cet extraordinaire 
element de couleur. Quand la modification est toni- 
que ou lineaire, il est probable que la represen- 
tation qui en resultera sera belle. S'il s'agit d'assom- 
brir un ton gris, de changer la valeur d'un theme mo- 
nochromatique, de modifier la disposition de lumiereou 
d'ombre, le trouble apporte sera peut-etre nouveau, 
etrange mais encore parfaitement agreable. Mais la 
beaute de couleur est chose tout a fait a part. II n'est 
pas de beaute plus fragile, il n'en est pas qui soit gardee 
par des lois dont I'infraction peut conduire a des chati- 
.ments plus serieux et plus prompts. II n'est pas d'edit 
qui declare qu'un angle de 40* est chose exquise, mais un 
angle de 38 est intolerable. Mais il existe un principe 
irrevocable dans la Nature qui affirme que le pourpre 
et I'or sont d'une splendide harmonie et quele pourpre 
et le rose sont un crime en esthetique. II n'y a pas de 
regie pour definir quelle ombre de gris exacte doit se 
trouver dans uncertain ton de noir, mais il est une loi 
eternelle qui condamne avec eclat runion du magenta 
et du mauve. La grande ere de paix commenceraavant 
que la ferocite de la lutte entre le puce et le vermilion 
soit reglee. Les morales et les religions humaines peu- 
vent se pencher et s'unir, mais I'union de certaine cou- 
leurs effarouchera toujours comnie quelque chose d'in- 
convenant. 



Un agenccmcnt de couleurs parfait est done chose 
trop sensible, son cadre est trop exquis et trop frfile 
pour comporter des transformations brusques et rapi- 
des. Rien n'est plus rare qu'un ceil ayant la perception 
parfaite de la couleur, rien de plus difficile en art que 
Telaboration d'un theme de couleur serieux et compli- 
qiie. Comment doncattendre del'autochromisteagissant 
avec une rigidite mecanique. sans guide ni contrOlc de 
la main humaine autre chose qu'une oeuvre discor- 
dante"? Deja, au milieu dexperiences sans fin, ce miracle 
s'est produit, une harmonie nouvelle et compliquee se 
fait etrangement remarquer. Mais ces exceptions n'ont 
aucune regie artistiquc, ce sont d'heureux accidents, 
des enfants du hasard, ils ne donnent pas k I'operateur 
le droit de se dire createur ; ils ne sanctifient pas I'art 
d'oiiils viennent.-.Comme pour la manipulation, la route 
dela creation par pure technique est fermeepourlapho- 
tographie des couleurs ; il lui manque ce clavier de 
precedes differents que les Davidson, les Coburn, les 
Craig Annan, dans leurs oeuvres non colorees savent 
faire chanter si delicieusement. Reste ii considerer une 
troisi6me route, celle de I'expression personnelle, que 
Ton pourrait appeler la Creation par isolement. 

C'est ici, croyons-nous, qu'il faut chercher I'avenir 
esthetique de I'autochrome, c'est en cedomaine, en tout 
cas, que se trouvent les autochromes les plus rcussis de 
ce volume. En meme temps, on est force d'avouer que 
les difficultes sont enormes. Fouillant dans le chaos et 
I'immenslte de la nature pour y trouver ce petit fragment, 
cette bagatelle dont la beaute isolee paraitra irreelle 
et nouvelle, le monochromiste doit toujours se souvenir 
qu'il doit rechercher non seulement ia nouveaute mais 
lu beaute, beaute de lignes, de masses, de ton, de 
disposition, de courbe, necessite de voir tout cela en 
relation avec le petit coin auquel il le destine, en rela- 
tion avec le cadre de son epreuve et dans les termes 
speciaux de son procede; c'est, nous I'avons vu, une des 
principales difficultes de sa tache. Mais quand il s'agit 
d'autochromie, cette difficulte devient un veritable 
cauchemar par la necessite simultanee de d^couvrir 
d'accord avec cette beaute de masse, de lignes, de dis- 
tribution et du reste, cette chose bien plus rare et bien 
plus fugitive, une parfaite mdlodie de couleur. Souvent, 
sans doute, au milieu d'un travail en plein air vous 
trouvez des harmonies de couleur negligees qui sont 
d'une exquise perfection. Le peintre le sail bien, il les 
recherche, les etudie, apprend leurs secrets et s'en sert, 
mais il ne pense pas a les faire coincider avec des har- 
monies de masse et de lignes. II ne nourrit pas le fol 
espoir de decouvrir la nature chantant un duo. II se 
contenfe de decouvrir ici sa melodic lineaire, Ik sa 
melodie chromatique et ensuite de les m*ler, de les 
tisser avec art, de telle sorte qu'elles apparaissent sur 
la toile parfaitement fondues et ii I'unisson. 

5 



m 



La Photographic des Couleurs 



Aucune combinaison de cette sorte n'est possible 
pour I'autochiomiste ; il doit done fonder tout son espoir 
sur I'existence possible dans le labyrinthe de cette eton- 
nante coincidence, de ce duo miraculeux et anormal. 11 
faut qu'il cherche paysage apres paysage, qu'il s'enfonce 
profondement dans la jungle de la realite, ne s'appuyant 
sur rien de plus tangible que ce vague espoir theorique 
qu'il trouvera quelque part dans la nature — en vertu 
de la loi des moyennes — ces deux voix qui chanteront 
dans un accord pur et exquis. Nous n'envions pas cette 
recherche, nous admettons qu'il pourra reussir, nous 
lui souhaitons sincerement le succes. 

Avec la meme bonne foi nous admettons volontiers 
que s'il abandonne le paysage pour le genre, pour urie 
certaine sorte de portrait et surtout de nature-morte il 
pourra reduire les difficultes de sa tache au point d'en 
faire un mode d'activite tres original et tres legi- 
time. 

Dans son interieur il pourra jouer le r61e de detis ex 
machina et devenant metteur en scene faire des essais 
jusqu'ace qu'il produise quelque chose qui contiendra la 
coincidence desiree. Ce n'est pas la plus aisee des taches, 
elle ne se peut comparer aux travaux les moins manuels 
du peintre car il faut qu'il fasse laborieusement et phy- 
siquement ce que le pinceau accomplit d'une seule 
touche. Mais cette tache il peut I'accomplir et nous 
donner certaines sensations rares. Les etudes de fleurs 
du baron de Meyer, les meilleures autochromes de cet 
ouvrage, le montrent amplement. Sa nature morte avec 
des « General Jacqueminot » sortant si delicieusement 
du vase si delicatement choisi est une veritable creation 
(n° 75). Ce tableau est beau en lui-meme, sa beaute est 
bien saisie, c'est le produit d'un effort decisif d'une 
raison imaginative, c'est une beaute cachee et eloignee, 
tres differente de I'insouciante beaute qui emanerait de 
vraies fleurs^ d'un vrai vase et d'une vraie draperie. 
Plus parfait encore est I'habile agencement en bronze 
rouge et laque verte (n° 69). Ces deux morceaux sont 
.certainement des epreuves d'art, et celui qui les a faites 



-I'eflt-il jamais produit de monochromes, a un droit 
certain ^ un litre ancien et honorable. 

C'est par un precede semblable de raise en scene que 
les autres plaques les plus reussies ont cette beaute qui 
les sauve. La « Toilette bleue » (n* 22) ; la « Dame en 
rouge » (n<- 38) ; M»' W. M. (n" 87) ; les curieux essais 
en vert de Craig Annan (n° 8) : le portrait groupe 
(n° 87). Dans toute ces oeuvies le groupement a ele 
fait avec reflexion, le tableau a ete prepare comme 
une mise en scene, la chambre noire est venue pour k' 
perpetuer. C'est a notre avis la seule methode par 
laquelle I'autochromiste puisse esperer faire quelque 
chose qui soil plus qu'une notation interessante, un 
memorandum curieux, I'adroite exemplification d'une 
curieuse decouverte scientifique. 

Et encore... (il faut faire cette reserve) car I'avenir, 
comme disent les Japonais, est plein d'occasions et on 
ne peut guere douter que demain ou !e lendemain do 
demain n'apporte une nouvelle decouverte, un nouveau 
progres, qui remettra aux mains de I'operateur le droit 
de contrdle et lui rende le pouvoir que la science ii 
momentane usurpe. C'est une perspective pleine dc 
charme, c'est comme la porte d'un monde de specula- 
tions curieuses et enchanteresses, mais nous avons dejii 
refuse de jouer le role de prophete ; nous ne nous lais- 
serons leurrer par cette attirance. 

En terminant nous nous permettrons de dire que la 
veritable sphere de la photographic, la place oil elle 
pourra saisir le bon moment sur la pointe du pied, et 
I'emprisonner, pour toujours doit etre le monde du 
monochrome. La couleur est trop fugitive et sensible 
pour se soumettre a cette chasse aux papillons, nou.s 
dirons que le photographe doit comprendre cela nette- 
ment, non pour laisser de cote les experiences d'auto- 
chrome, mais pour pousser plus activeraent et plus 
vigoureusement ses recherches en monochromie. Car 
ici certainement la tache est assez belle et assez pre- 
cieuse pour satisfaire le plus ambitieux. 

Dixo.v Scorr. 




I'll. Rfxouard, r9, rue des Sainib-rjrcf. 



L'impriraeur-gOrant ; Fh, K£nol arh. 



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PORTRAIT OF MRS. GREIFFENHAGEN FROM AN AUTOCHROME BY J. CRAIG ANNAN 



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•BOY WITH HOOP" BY MARY ALLEN 




'BED-TIME" BY FRANCES ALLEN 




BOOK-PLATE BY J. CRAIG ANNAN 




'STONYHURST COLLEGE" BY J. CRAIG ANNAN 



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'A LATE WINTER SUN" FROM A GUM PRINT BY DR. H. BACHMANN 




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"THE WHITE SAIL" BY ALVIN LANGDON COBURN 



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"the SILVER CUP" BY ALVIN LANGDON COBURN 



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•SANTA MARIA DELLA SALUTE" BY ALVIN LANGDON COBURN 



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"LOUISE" BY ROBERT DEM IVCHY 



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STUDY OF A HEAD BY C. J. VON DUHREN 




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"GREYFRIARS CHURCHYARD" BY DAVID OCTAVIUS HILL 



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PORTRAIT OF A BOY BY DAVID OCTAVIUS HILL 



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"THE BROKEN PITCHER" BY GERTRUDE KASEBIER 



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PORTRAIT BY GERTRUDE KASEBIER 



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"THE LETTER" BY GERTRUDE KASEBIER 



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' DON iQUIXOTE "-SELF PORTRAIT BY CAVENDISH MORTON 

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"THE DANCER" BY CAVENDISH MORTON 



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'LISE-LOTTE" BY CAVENDISH MORTON 



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"STEPS AT THE VILLA D'ESTEjTIVOLI" BY PAUL PICHIER 




BOHEMIAN LANDSCAPE BY KAREL PROKOP 




"and MORE TO COME" BY G. E. H. RAWLINS 



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P0RTRA1T0F"MRS. W. M." FROM AN AUTOCHROME BY G. E. H. RAWLINS 




'THE PIANIST" BYGUIDOREY 



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•THE DAWN" BY GEORGE H.SEELEY 



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'THE CRYSTAL" BY GEORGE H. SEELEY 



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■AUTUMN" BY GEORGE H.SEELEY 



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'THE WHITE SCREEN" BY GEORGE H. SEELEY 



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"CHRISTMAS ROSES" PROM AN AUTOCHROME BY P. w. URQUHART 



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'IN THE NEW YORK CENTRAL YARDS"-SNAPSHOT BY ALFRED STIEGLIT2 



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" MISS C."-STUDY BY ALFRED STIEGLITZ & CLARENCE H. WHITE 




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107 




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PORTRAIT OF MRS. WHITE BY CLARENCE H. WHITE 



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'THE BRIDGE" BYJ.H. FIELD 



112 



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'HELEN" BY HERVEYW. MINNS 




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1894 
1896 
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1898 
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» 

i9cx> 

» 

1901 

» 
1902 

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1903 

!> 

1904 

» 

1905 



1906 

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1907 

>> 
)• 

1908 



« Christmas Cards and their Designers 

" Work of R. L. Steven-TT " .. 

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" Beauty's Awakening " 

" Modern Bookbindings 

« Modern British Water-Colour Drawings . ■ 

" Modern Pen Drawings " ... ••■ 

" Modern British Domestic Architecture 

" Modern Jewellery and Fans " 

"Modern Etching and Engraving 

" Corot and Millet " •• „ ' 

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" The Royal Academy from Reynolds to MUiai; 
" Daumier and Gavarni " 
« The Old Watcr-Colour Society ' 

"Art in Photography" ... 

«« Nash's Mansions of England in the Olden 1 imc 

««Thc Royal Institute of Painters in Water-Colour 

"Art-Revival in Austria" 

'« Old English Country Cottages" 

«< The Royal Scottish Academy " 

" The Brothers Maris " 

" The Gardens of England " ... .•• •-• .••• , 

«' Art in England durin- t he Elizabetha n .V Stuart Periods 

" The Ycar-Book or Decorative Art " . 



... JJ O Li i 1 ^ J *- ' 

{Out of print) 
{Out of print) 
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- 6 

\^{JUt Uj pllrU) 4- ' 

{Out of print) 21 -* 
{Out of print) 21,-* 

5/- 

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SI' I'^P^'' i ii^ cloth 
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{Out of print) 15/-* 

„ ' ., , - r. -1,--..•^ 



3 Parts, 1 at i /-, i 



at I/O 



boua-.l ».o;ii[ 



"Art m 1 597, 3 i*iL=, .1 »^ -- , - "- -/ - ■ 

" Art in 1898," 3 Parts at i/- each ; bound complete, 5, - 

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Xt'c ■'"fru'lrnl'wio.ica^ing according ,o 0,= Jap.„c.c Me..oa .. ./ 
Mdn/AL "Picture Titles for Paltitcrs and Photogn.rb^r>, 3 '6 [p"»< 

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