About This Image
From a series of actors by Villeneuve. Written in pencil across the center of the photograph's verso is the name "Samson." M. Samson is dressed in an eighteenth century costume and wig holding a glass of wine. Provenance: Andre Jammes Sotheby's sale.
Julien Vallou de Villeneuve (December 12, 1795 in Boissy-Saint-Léger – May 4, 1866 in Paris) was a French painter, lithographer and photographer. Vallou de Villeneuve studied with Jean-François Millet, and started his career at the Salon of 1814, exhibiting images depicting daily life, fashion, regional costumes and nude photographs. In the 1820s and 30s he developed an international following for his folio-sized lithographic erotic series Les Jeunes Femmes, depicting racy episodes in the life of young women and their lovers.
From 1842 Villeneuve took up the camera, first producing daguerreotypes and then softly toned salted paper prints from paper negatives of the same subject matter. He moved to Paris in 1850, founding the Société française de photographie in 1854. He was also a member of the Société héliographique. Realist painter Gustave Courbet was introduced to his photographs by fellow artist Alfred Bruyas during the 1850s and used them as source material for his paintings, in particular L'Atelier (1855) and Les Baigneuses (1853). No photographs by him after 1855 are recorded.
Vallou de Villeneuve is buried at Père Lachaise Cemetery.
The full name of the actor is Joseph-Isidore Samson, who was a French actor and playwright.
Samson was born at Saint-Denis, near Paris, the son of a restaurateur. He took first prize for comedy at the Conservatoire in 1812, married an actress with whom he had toured in France, and joined the Comédie-Française in 1826. There he remained until 1863, creating more than 250 parts.
In 1829 Samson became a professor at the Conservatoire, under whom Rachel Félix (1821–1858), Rose Cheri (1824–1861), the Brohans and others were trained. He wrote several comedies, among them La Belle-Mère et le gendre (1826), and La Famille poisson (1846).
Samson died in Paris on 28 March 1871.
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Medium Salt print from paper negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1850c Print Date 1850c
Dimensions 7-3/8 x 5-1/4 in. (187 x 133 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France