About this artwork
A talented amateur with an aristocratic upbringing, Gustave de Beaucorps began photographing his extensive travels in the mid-1850s. His studies of the architecture, landscapes, and people of Algeria—which France had invaded in 1830—tapped into a public fascination with Orientalist depictions of the Middle East and North Africa. De Beaucorps employed paper negatives, then the preferred technology for photographing architecture. Because enlarging was not yet practicable (prints were made by contact with the negative in direct sunlight), photographer-voyagers required cameras as large as the pictures they wished to make. Although this paper negative does not represent the image’s final presentation, it reveals the intricate patterning of Moorish architecture in reverse. A member of the French Photographic Society, de Beaucorps exhibited his prints of Algeria in Paris in 1859, 1861, and 1869.
- Gustave de Beaucorps
- Palace Algeria
- Waxed paper negative
- 28.2 × 38.6 cm (image); 28.9 × 39.1 cm (paper)
- The Mary and Leigh Block Endowment Fund