The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography



A carte-de-visite portrait of André Adolphe Eugène Disdéri (1819-1889).

Though opinion is divided whether of not he was the actual inventor of the carte-de-visite, Disdéri received a patent for the process from the French government on 27 November 1854, and was certainly responsible for popularising the craze. Remembered for having been the first to establish photography as a business as well as an artistic craft, his contemporaries considered him the outstanding portrait photographer in France. Although at the height of his career he was reputed to be earning a phenomenal £48,000 a year, in January 1872 he filed for bankruptcy. He subsequently found new backers and re-established a studio, at first in Paris and then at various addresses in Nice during the 1880s. For some reason he left the agreeable climate of Nice and returned to Paris around 1888 or 1889. He died on 4 October 1889 at the age of seventy, in the Hôpital Sainte-Anne, an institution for indigents, alcoholics and the mentally ill.

Self-portrait by the photographer.


Code: 124226
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