About This Image
With photographer's name written in black in and blindstamp of editor/location (Marx, Pau) on recto of mount. Title of the work in French is: Le guide Lanusse et sa famille. It is one of Heilmann's most iconic images, but is extremely rare. It was published in L'Illustration on July 14, 1855 under the title "Montaguards des Pyrénées". Another illustration was published in Le Journal de Houbigant (cat. 71) . See: Mironneau and Juliat, Pyrénées en Images, De l'Oeil a l'Objectif, 1820-1860 ( Musée National du Château de Pau, 1995), p.66, pl.28.
Born in 1822 in Mulhouse, Alsace, J. J. Heilmann made his living as a photographer, publisher, and printer in Pau, a town in southern France near the northern border of the Pyrenees. Most of his work was produced between 1852-57. Using rapid collodion plates perfected by Adolphe Bertsch and Farnham Maxwell Lyte, Heilmann also made calotypes and ivory types of considerable sophistication. He came up with processes to color photographs and to enlarge prints that he patented in 1853.
Heilmann frequently photographed the landscape of the Pyrenees, although he also did portraits, urban scenes, and photographic reproductions of paintings of Alsace and Pau. His images often resemble those of Lyte and John Stewart, British photographers whose scenes of man and nature were produced in the Pyrenees during the same era. Heilmann's photographs, however, have a more defined composition. His use of figures, animals, vehicles, and natural elements reveals an interest in depicting civilized man in a primitive setting. A founding member of the Société française de photographie, Heilmann was also affiliated with the Photographic Club of Great Britain. He exhibited his work at the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris. He died in 1859 at the young age of 37.
He is in the Jammes and Janis book, The Art of French Calotype, and in the Brettle book, Paper and Light: The Calotype in France and Great Britain, 1839-1870.
One other copy of this image is known (although damaged) and is in the Musée National du Château de Pau.
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Medium Non matte salt print cut to an oval
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1854 Print Date 1854
Dimensions 9-3/4 x 7-1/2 in. (248 x 191 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France