Paris: Chez l'Auteur, 1862. First edition. Thick 8vo., 367 pp., illustrations in text. Contemporary binding of half morocco and marbled paper over boards, spine titled and decorated in gilt. Spine, tips and edges rubbed, lacking a few chips to the marbled paper; faint scattered foxing and soil; else very good. Item #26226
André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (1819 - 1889) a self-taught daguerreotypist, researched and improved upon the existing collodion-on-glass negative process, which he outlined in his first publication, Manuel Opératoire de Photographie sur Collodion Instantané, 1853. That same year, he returned to Paris and opened the largest studio in Paris, which spread across two floors. It was there that he introduced his carte-de-visite portraits which were a great financial success. For the 1855 Paris Exposition Universelle, he formed the Société du Palais de l'Industrie and obtained the rights to photograph all the products and works of art exhibited at the Exposition.
In this, his best known and most influential book, Disdéri provides an introduction to the materials of photography, including photomechanical processes, a through discussion of the collodion process, and in the final part he discusses his approach to the practice and the art of photography, defending it as more than a mechanical operation, with comparisons to painting. Eder writes "Disdéri was considered the outstanding portrait photographer of his time in Paris. Napoleon III appointed him court photographer. In 1861 he instructed French officers in photography under orders from the minister of war. Disdéri's popularity is best shown by the fact that his character was introduced in 1861 as a star attraction on the stage of a small vaudeville theater in Paris by a realistic representation featuring his bald head and tremendous beard."
WorldCat locates thirteen copies, with Getty Research Institute, the National Gallery of Art, and Clark Art Institute as the only U.S. holdings. Bellier de la Chavignerie, Manuel Bibliographie du Photographe Francais, 1863, No. 134. Roosens and Salu No. 4246.