The Oldest Known Photograph
A few billion recorded images ago there was Joseph Nicéphore Niépce’s 1826 “View from the Window at Le Gras,” the world’s oldest surviving photo.
The work will be displayed in Mannheim, Germany beginning in September.
Housed normally in the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas, the photograph was last exhibited in Europe on 1961. Niépce’s tin plate photograph will be show as part of the exhibition “The Birth of Photography: Milestones from the Gernsheim Collection,” opening on Septemper 9.
“This is like the Mona Lisa or the Blue Mauritius,” the exhibition’s curator, Claude Sui told the press, with regard to the unique nature of the image. However, Niépce’s process at the time didn’t resembled anything that we would consider photography today, or what Louis Daguerre, Niépce’s partner for the last four years of his life, from 1829-1833, would later develop based on some of their experimentations, the Daguerreotype. Still, in our image-overwhlemed contemporary society, this is a rare chance to view the very beginning of what we now take for granted while we indisciminantly Instagram into infamy parties, exhibitions, and sandwiches.
Remarkably, “View form the Window at Le Gras” was lost for over 50 years after being exhibited in London, just before the turn of the 20 century.
Image: View from the Window at Le Gras by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce. Via ArtInfo