The precision of the daguerreotype—the first publicized form of photography—enthralled the world at its introduction in 1839. At the height of the craze in the mid-19th century, millions of daguerreotypes were produced, most of them portraits.

This wasp-waisted officer, standing proudly in his ensign’s uniform, is Anatole Charlemagne (1824–1868). He entered the French Navy at the age of fifteen, and by twenty-two was given the rank of Ship’s Ensign. Charlemagne rose through the ranks of the Navy, only to be lost at sea just two weeks shy of his 44th birthday.


Cataloguing data may change with further research.

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Artist
French
Title
Le Commandant Anatole Charlemagne
Date
1846–1851
Medium
Daguerreotype
Dimensions
At opening (Visible): 3 7/16 × 2 9/16 in. (8.8 × 6.5 cm) Mat: 5 13/16 × 4 13/16 in. (14.7 × 12.2 cm) Frame: 8 7/8 × 7 11/16 in. (22.5 × 19.5 cm)
Credit Line

Museum purchase funded by Franci Neely

Current Location
Not on view
Accession Number
2016.133
Classification
Photographs
Provenance

[Kapandji Morhange, November 14, 2013, lot 43]; [Perfect Likeness, Half Moon Bay, California]; purchased by MFAH, 2016.