Paris: Grassart; A. Gaudin et Frère, 1856. First edition. 12mo., vii, 220 pp., a.e.g. Publisher's blue cloth, decorated in blind on the covers and spine. The binding shows blistering and fading from dampness, with a faint and diminishing tidemark through p. 11 and again on the last 30 pages, primarily to the blank upper margin. Tipped-in, between the half-tile and title page is a decoratively printed leaf for F. Cantel, Libraire, Rue Hautefeuille, 5. In all, this remains a good copy. Item #52123
Ernest Lucan (1828 - 1879) trained as a painter and became one of the most influential editors and critics of the international photographic community during the second half of the nineteenth century. As a founding member of the Sociéte Héliographique, Lucan and Jules-Claude Ziégler started their weekly journal in 1851, LA LUMIÈRE, the first European journal of photography. The ownership of the journal changed hands and Lucan was appointed editor-in-chief, a postion he held through 1860. His associates were, Baron Gros, Édouard Baldus, Hippolyte Bayard, Henri Le Secq, Gustave Le Gray, Charles Nègre, Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor, Edmond Becquerel, Eugène Delacroix, Champfleury, Charles Chevalier, N.P. Lerebours, Comte L. de Laborde, Prince de Montléart, and Baron de Montesquieu, among others, and his reviews of their photographs and technical accomplishments were glowing.
In 1856, Lucan published ESQUISSES PHOTOGRAPHIQUES... "The most crucial single-volume source for the study of early French photography, Lacan's text is a thoroughly critical examination of the state of the art at that time. The editor of La Lumiere, Lacan treats the history of photography's invention, its various applications to the Fine Arts and to science, and its extensions into photogravure and photolithography" (text from Arno Press in the series The Sources of Modern Photography). A large portion of this volume is taken up with his review of the 1855 Exposition Universelle, with lenghty comments on the images of Levi L. Hill, Henri Le Secq, Édouard Baldus, the Bisson brothers, Roger Fenton, and others.
WorldCat locates a total of thirteen copies worldwide, with Columbia University, University of Texas, University of Maryland - Baltimore, Smithsonian, New York Public Library and George Eastman House as the only U.S. holders. Bellier de la Chavignerie, Manuel Bibliographie du Photographe Francais, 1863, No. 154, in the section of Expositions et Critiques. Roosens and Salu fail to locate this title.