Portrait of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre

Object Details


Portrait of Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre


Charles Richard Meade (American, 1826 - 1858)




Bry-sur-Marne, France (Place Created)




Daguerreotype, hand-colored

Object Number:



15.7 × 11.5 cm (6 3/16 × 4 1/2 in.)

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Unaware that Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, the inventor of the daguerreotype, vehemently disliked having his own portrait made, Charles Richard Meade traveled to Europe in 1848 to make a photograph that would show American audiences what Daguerre looked like. Daguerre politely refused Meade's request but invited him to stay for a visit at his home in Bry-sur-Marne, France. Through the coaxing of either Madame Daguerre or Daguerre's niece, Meade secured the sitting. Daguerre's reticence, however, is apparent; he looks a bit uneasy and anxious for the whole ordeal to be over.

During that visit Meade made five portraits of Daguerre, which he later exhibited in the galleries that were part of the Meade Studios in New York. They attracted a great deal of attention from Americans, who had enthusiastically embraced the daguerreotype soon after its invention early in 1839. Because daguerreotypes were unique objects, Meade made daguerreotype copies of the portraits that he judged to be popular with the art-buying public.

Experimental Photography: Discovery and Invention (January 17 to April 2, 1989)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu), January 17 to April 2, 1989
Arrows of Time: Photographs from the J. Paul Getty Museum (January 24 to April 2, 1995)
  • Armand Hammer Museum of Art and Cultural Center at UCLA (Los Angeles), January 24 to April 2, 1995
The Art of the Daguerreotype (April 14 to July 12, 1998)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 14 to July 12, 1998
Portraits of Renown: Photography and the Cult of Celebrity (April 3 to September 2, 2012)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), April 3 to September 2, 2012
In Focus: Daguerreotypes (November 3, 2015 to March 20, 2016)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), November 3, 2015 to March 20, 2016

The J. Paul Getty Museum Handbook of the Collections. 7th ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2007), p. 284, ill.

Related Media
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    Audio: Louis-Jacques-Mande Daguerre (Exhibit: FAME & PHOTO)