Hippolyte Bayard

<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Self-Portrait as a Drowned Man</i>, 1840.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Chaise dans un Jardin</i>, 1842-1850.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Arrangement of Specimens</i>, circa 1842.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Colonnade de l'église de la Madeleine</i>, circa 1845.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, Le Pont-Neuf, les quais, les bains "A la Samaritaine" et la Tour St Jacques</i>, 1847.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Portrait of a Young Girl in the Bayard's Garden</i>, 1847.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Bayard, les yeux Fermès</i>, 1845-1848.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Le Moulin de Saint-Ouen</i>, 1845.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Molinos de Montmartre</i>, circa 1842.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Le Tombereau</i>, 1850.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>La Tour des Gens d'Armes in Caen</i>, 1851.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Notre-Dame de Paris (2)</i>, 1847.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Untitled</i>, 1855.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b>, <i>Bouquet de Fleurs</i>, 1845-1848.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b><i>Two Women Embroidering Outdoors</i>, 1847.</p>
<p><b>Hippolyte Bayard</b></p>
French
1801 , d. 1887

Hippolyte Bayard was a French clerk in the Ministry of Finance who - you guessed it - invented his own photographic process in 1839. Before, he claimed, his countryman Louis Daguerre, and William Henry Fox Talbot, and John Herschel and a few others. His process was different in that he started with a black sheet of sensitized paper and light from the image bleached out the light parts, creating a positive image. Hippolyte didn't receive the recognition (or money) Daguerre did, primarily because one of Daguerre's buddies convinced him to delay publishing his findings, giving Daguerre the chance to publish first. Hippolyte vented his feelings in 1840 by posing for a self-portrait as if he had committed suicide. On the back of the photo he inscribed:

The corpse which you see here is that of M. Bayard, inventor of the process that has just been shown to you. As far as I know this indefatigable experimenter has been occupied for about three years with his discovery. The Government which has been only too generous to Monsieur Daguerre, has said it can do nothing for Monsieur Bayard, and the poor wretch has drowned himself. Oh the vagaries of human life....! ... He has been at the morgue for several days, and no-one has recognized or claimed him. Ladies and gentlemen, you'd better pass along for fear of offending your sense of smell, for as you can observe, the face and hands of the gentleman are beginning to decay.

The photograph was probably the first self-portrait, the first (nearly) nude, and the first fake or photographic lie - not too bad for one photo.

Hippolyte went on to use both Daguerre's and Talbot's processes to create a fair-size body of surviving work that displays an artistic eye.

Hippolyte - the first guy who nearly bayard/bared it all in a photograph but was too (hip)polite to.


time well spent

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