Self-Portrait with a Recent Invention

Object Details

Title:

Self-Portrait with a Recent Invention

Artist/Maker:

William Constable (British, 1783 - 1861)

Culture:

British

Date:

about 1854

Medium:

Daguerreotype

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William Constable was both an artist and inventor. Here he showed off his most recent scientific invention: an improved regulating device to increase the efficiency of steam power. Constable placed himself with the invention behind him on his right. Rather than position the invention in center frame, Constable shifted it to the left so as to include himself proudly clasping the device. The composition calls as much attention to his own role as inventor as to the invention itself.

Provenance
1984 -

Bruno Bischofberger

Exhibitions
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
A Royal Passion: Queen Victoria and Photography (February 4 to June 8, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), February 4 to June 8, 2014
Bibliography