Achille Quinet (France): Etude d'Après Nature (Nature Study) #23

Albumen print, approximately 7.5 x 9.75 inches, circa 1875

Click here for a closer look at the figures on the riverbank

In response to those who refuse to accept photography as an artistic expression, M. Quinet, selecting the simplest of subjects--a corner of woods or hedgerows, a fine river view, etc.--choosing his hour of light, and portraying with great finesse a sense of light even among the shadows, has produced photographs decidedly deserving of the term "artistic studies."
--Alphonse Davanne, Bulletin de la Societe française de photographie, 1876


There are shreds of evidence beyond the stylistic that [the enigmatic photographer C. Famin] was the maker of the negatives and prints, and Quinet simply the distributor, who very misleadingly placed his name with a rubber stamp on the mount at the edge of the photograph, where it is customary for the maker to identify himself... If Famin is actually the author of this marvellous series, then he is to be credited with producing the closest equivalent of impressionism in photographs of the 1870s.

--Weston J. Naef, "A Case Study in the Art History of Photography: Famin or Quinet?" in the essay "The Beginnings of Photography as Art in France," After Daguerre: Masterworks of French Photography (1848-1900) from the Bibliothèque Nationale [The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York: 1980]

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