National Gallery of Art - EXHIBITIONS

Image: Paris in Transition: Photographs from the National Gallery of Art

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Exhibition Information

Charles Nègre
French, 1820–1880
Market Scene at the Port of the Hôtel
de Ville, Paris
, before February 1852
salted paper print from paper negative
National Gallery of Art, Washington
Patrons' Permanent Fund

By designing his own lenses that reduced exposure time, Nègre was able to achieve nearly instantaneous photographs, prompting one critic to exclaim:

His lens is as fast as movement. He has seized with an incredible vitality a market scene...the dockers walk, the merchants raise their hands, the chickens tremble under the hand that holds them....It is life itself, and Nègre has stopped it in a hundredth of a second.

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