Voyage d’Exploration a la Mer Morte, a Petra et sur la Rive Gauche du Jourdain. Œuvre Posthume Publiée par ses petits-fils sous la direction de M. Le Comte de Vogüé. THREE VOLUMES + ATLAS.

Luynes, Honore d’Albert Duc de.

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Book ID: 31957


Folio. Volume I: (Two Parts): “Relation du Voyage” 388 pp., numerous wood engravings in text, appendices, index / Volume II: consists of two texts, the first by Louis Vignes titled “De Petra a Palmyre”, the second by MM. Mauss & Sauvaire titled “Voyage de Jerusalem a Karak et a Chaubak”, 222 pp., [3], tables / Volume III: Géologie in two parts, Part I titled: Esquisse Géologique et Paléontologique de la Palestine et de L’Idumee. Part II titled: Etude Speciale de la Mer Morte, vi, 326 pp., +14 plates of which 4 are in double page & in colour / ATLAS: 78 plates 19.3 x 25.4 cm, (64 photogravures on steel by Ch. Negre from photographs taken by Louis Vignes and 14 lithographs by Eugène Cicer), all plates described, Partly Uncut, publisher’s wrappers, slightly faded, Atlas in hard boards, some spotting, otherwise set in very good condition, Arthus-Bertrand, Paris, sd [1874].


The Duke of Luynes (1802-1867), an eminent numismatist, scholar, archaeologist and collector of art, directed and sponsored this important expedition to Palestine, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon in 1864.
Louis Vignes (1831-1896) was a French marine officer who took photographs in the Holy Land using the Calotype system from 1859. He accompanied Honore d’Albert, Duke of Luynes at the end of September in 1864 on an archaeological journey from Beirut to Palmyra. His greatest achievement was the exploration of the Dead Sea basin in the same year. Vignes took many photographs during his voyages and explorations in the Holy Land. The photographic plates, published in this work, were lithographed by Charles Negre after photographs taken by Louis Vignes.
“From 1854 until 1867 Negre dedicated himself to the perfection of an exquisite process that he termed heliogravure. The result was a printing plate capable of reproducing ‘the entire gradation of tones, from the white of the paper to the strongest black, maintaining the precision and the fine detail of the photographic print’, as he stated at a scientific congress” (Stuhlmann, in “Imagining Paradise”, p.105).
In 1856, the Duke of Luynes, whose primary interest was in publishing photographic evidence in a manner that would prove permanent, announced a prize of 8,000 francs for the best photomechanical reproductions. It was not until nine years later that he commissioned Negre to make the plates for his own planned publication. “Negre, a painstaking craftsman, lavished his skill upon the production of the plates, transforming the dull photographs into evocative images of great poetry. He considered this series his best achievement and submitted it to the jury…”(Stuhlmann, p.105).
‘Ultimately foiled by his own artistry, [Negre] was not awarded the Duke of Luynes’ renowned prize…. because none of the judges believed that anyone but Negre himself could produce such beautiful photo-engraved plates’. (Jammes, Art of French Calotype, p.222).
Bibliographic references: Foster et al., Imagining Paradise, p.105; Rohricht: pp. 514-515.

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