0. Avant la photographie (BP)


0-CHI-PAP Il y a 2200 ans, l’invention du papier : 0-CHI-PAP Chinese Impressions

Recent excavation in Fangmatan, an archeological site located near Tianshui in China’s Gansu province, helped precise invention of paper. The date of the burial of Tomb 1 was approximately 230 to 220 BCE at the very end of the Warring States period; it was excavated in 1986.The tomb contained a number of long-lost texts written on bamboo slips, including almanacs (Rishu 日書), legal texts, medical works, and seven maps. Tomb 5, which was also excavated in 1986, dates to the early Western Han (early 2nd century BC). The occupant of the tomb was buried with a paper map laid on his chest, but due to water damage only a single fragment (5.6 × 2.6 cm) of the map has survived. The map, which depicts topographic features such as mountains, waterways and roads, is drawn on the oldest extant piece of paper.
0-EUR-RHR Discussion sur une épreuve de Rembrandt

The Tribute Money [Le denier de César], 1634 : 0-EUR-RHR Caesar

“… de 1817 à 1838, la mise aux enchères des gravures composant les collections du comte Rigal, de Denon, de M. Révil, permet au conservateur du département des estampes de travailler à compléter les œuvres des maîtres italiens, allemands ou hollandais. Six ans plus tard, en 1844, la vente d’une des plus belles collections particulières formées à Paris depuis le XVIIIe siècle, la vente du cabinet Debois [1], achève d’offrir des ressources dont on s’empresse de profiter …”.




0-ITA-CAM Before Daguerre : Cameria Lucida or Visual Boldness in the Early Days of Dark Romanticism : 0-ITA-CAM Before Daguerre Dark Romanticism

Villa Medici appears as an influencial place for the early days of Photography, from the experiment of Girault de Prangey in May 1842 untill the Golden Age of the Caffé Grecco School in the 1850s. Now we could also consider the period of the 1820s as a decisive moment for Visual creativity.




0-ITA-CAM Before Talbot, Camera Lucida Drawing : 0-ITA-CAM Before Talbot 

The camera lucida was patented in 1807 by William Hyde Wollaston «to facilitate accurate sketching of objects». It consists of a four-sided prism mounted on a small stand leaning over a sheet of paper. By placing the eye close to the upper edge of the prism so that half the pupil looks over the prism, the observer is able to see apparently lying on the paper, a reflected image of an object situated in front of the prism. He can then trace the image with a pencil… “At first I found the camera lucida very difficult to use. It doesn’t project a real image of the subject, but the illusion of one in the eye. When you move your head everything moves with it, and the artist must learn to make very quick notations to fix the position of the eyes, nose and mouth to capture ‘a likeness’. It is concentrated work…”


0-FRA-SIL Silhouette of La Fayette


0-FRA-SIL Silhouette of La Fayette : 0-FRA-SIL Silhouette of La Fayette  

LaFayette Stinks (Mr de La Fayette est comme une chandelle qui brille chez le peuple, et qui pue en bonne compagnie, Mr de La Fayette is like a candle that shines among the people, and who stinks in good company). Paris, 1790



0-FRA-SIL alice-genet


0-FRA-SIL Black Silhouettes of Slave Owners : 0-FRA-SIL Black Silhouettes

Alice Genet, Amélie Flandin and Lucie Barras, Paris, circa 1830 (Instruction of the indemnisation, 1826-1833). Three cut-out silhouettes, 40×25 cm, on original paper mounts, sheets, about 50×40 cm, with names in ink or pencil (followed by a digital image of the left panel of Kara Walker’s triptych Resurrection Story with Patrons, courtesy Hamilton College).




0-FRA-MAD Année 1720 Le journal de Madelon, petite fille de huit ans, pendant la peste de Marseille, Il y a exactement 300 ans : 29.02.2020 Le journal de Madelon

The Diary of a Young Girl during the 1720 Great Plague In January 1720, eight years old Madelon started her diary on the blank pages of a tiny yearly almanac produced by the protestant community of Lausanne. On the interleaved pages between the first months, she tells the peaceful life of a little girl, surrounded by a cat, a family of rabbits, cousins, the preparations for a wedding. Then the Great Plague of Marseille insinuates itself with travelers’ delays, various quarantines, a wedding postponed after the summer.

0-COL-FAV Francesco Alvarez

0-COL-FAV Un poète du Nouveau Monde : 0-COL-FAV Francesco Alvarez de Velasco

No one would have ever heard of Alvarez de Velasco if he had not fallen benevolently in love with a distant poetess from the North, Juana-Ines, who had become a nun to protect her independence, by taking refuge in a convent in the gigantic Mexico City area 3000 km away. If, by being appointed ambassador of the colony of New Granada in Spain, Francisco had not secretly organized a possible and furtive meeting in 1702 during the necessary Mexican stage before the dangerous crossing of an ocean at the mercy of enemy privateers, he might never have known that his elective love had already died seven years earlier.



2-ICE-WMH Port-Famine

0-ICE-WMH A Tragedy Without Pictures : Port-Famine : 0-ICE-WMH Port-Famine

Sarmiento de Gamboa became the commander of the naval station in the Pacific in 1578, when Sir Francis Drake attacked the coasts of Peru and Mexico. He sailed out of the port of Callao with eleven vessels in 1579 to capture Drake. He did not find Drake, who had gone westward through the Pacific Ocean, but he explored the southern Pacific Coast of South America, passed the Magellan Strait from west to east for the second time, drawing precious maps of many points of the Strait, and, after an impressive sailing of the Atlantic Ocean from southwest to northeast, he reached Spain in late 1580.





0-SMS-DEF Echelle de Saunière :   Sauniere Magnitude Scale 

L’Échelle de Saunière propose de mesurer la capacité d’émerveillement des êtres humains, à l’annonce de la découverte d’un supposé trésor. De nature logarithmique, elle prend en compte la propagation de la nouvelle dans différents langages ainsi que le nombre de publications en papier ou en ligne. Elle ne mesure que la magnitude de l’intérêt suscité, indépendamment de la véracité des annonces ou des valeurs relatives des trésors annoncés. En étudiant dans un second temps l’équation des ondes de propagation des nouvelles, on ne manquera de rencontrer d’intéressants résultats sur la présence ou l’absence de corrélation avec la réalité desdits trésors.

The Sauniere Magnitude Scale (SMS) suggests a way of measuring the sense of mystery or wonder, the potential marvel for present times by announcing the discovery of a presumed treasure.  Logarithmic in nature, it takes into account the spread of this news in a variety of languages and in a number of publications.  It only measures the magnitude of the interest generated, regardless of the declared veracity compared to the relative worth of the revealed treasures.