Paris: E. Dentu, Libraire-Éditeur, 1861. First edition. 8vo., 47 pp. Illustrated stiff wrappers. Later cloth and marbled boards. Tips of a number of leaves creased; ex-library of the Sociéte Française de Photographie with their deaccession stamp and minimal markings. Very good. Item #26468
Menut Alexander Alophe, 1812 - 1883, studied under Paul Delaroche and Camille Roqueplan. As Pierre-Lin Renié wrote, "Alophe epitomizes the mediocre painter turned commercial lithographer and photographer." In 1856, his interest turned to photography and he took lessons from Nadar. His apartment was in the same building as Gustave LeGray's studio, which he assumed upon LeGray's bankruptcy. Alophe exhibited his portraits at The Société Francaise de Photographie, where Ernest Lucan, called them "remarkable", but criticized them for their excessive retouching.
In this, his singular publication, Alophe delivers a brief survey of the history of the medium, including some technical advise, while advocating for photography to be considered a high art.
Roosens and Salu No. 4907. Bellier de la Chavignerie, Manuel Bibliographie du Photographe Francais, 1863, No. 123. See Pierre-Lin Renié's article on Alophe, Encyclopedia of Nineteeth-Century Photography, p. 30.