Édouard Baldus: when crime leads to photography

The discovery of 84 plates of Edouard Baldus photoengravings, put on sale by Patricia Casini-Vitalis June 16, is a pretext for the rediscovery of the character. The story presents him as a conventional photographer who attended the heliographic mission, but recent studies reveal a more romantic Édouard Baldus.

The missing page to the history of Édouard Baldus

The biography of Eduard Baldus mentions his entrance into the Prussian army when he was 20 years and his departure from it, which did not correspond to his ideas. Soon after, Eduard gunner crossed the Rhine, where he francise its name and becomes the heliograveur Edward.  But, between the story of artillery and that of photogravure, missing a page, the one recently found a Baldus Eduard sentenced to capital punishment.

"Accused of manufacturing and use of counterfeit notes.

The army does not allow him to have the comfortable life he dreams and Cologne offers temptations that can quickly make rich you. This is the case of counterfeiting of banknotes recently implemented. Eduard Baldus in seized the opportunity, not without risk, since he will be sentenced to death, proves it to us the opinion of research towards her, found there is little. His arrival in France in 1838 is therefore due to the leak. 

Photogravure is the process which allowed printing and reproduction of photographs to part of a photographic image and a metal plate

The Heliography or "drawing by the Sun" is a technique of photogravure, established by Nicéphore Niépce

[", several lives"] former gunner, Baldus became a rich Prussian forger and successful photographer, before the bankruptcy. The counterfeiter in Prussia therefore control the reproduction of the image, which is topical as photography develops recently: ten years before, Nicéphore Niépce was shooting the first picture of history, "Point of view of fat.   City Hall. Large central foyer. Plate of photoengraving of 1884. Estimate 600 / 800 the bandwagon of the photographic revolution, Édouard Baldus took the opportunity to get rid of his past as a bandit and be of those who develop gravure.   So, he puts his talent of reproduction at the service of society and participates in 1851 in the Heliographique Mission on behalf of Commission of Historic Monuments of Burgundy which documents and prepares the restorations of the national heritage. 

The extraordinary discovery proposed auction

Edouard Baldus realized images of great finesse, he editing in hindsight. He made this "industrial process" a real artistic approach. It is this modernity that is worth the photographer his success. In contrast, four plates of heliogravures known so far have failed to recognize Édouard Baldus as a true pioneer of the gravure. But discover exceptional and inappropriate 84 photogravure plates allows to better understand the importance of the contribution of Baldus to photography.  

Our Lady of Paris (side), negative of 1855 grave in 1875 plate of photoengraving. 800/1000

As part of the Mission Heliograpique, Édouard Baldus together his shots to make collections. Thus one finds for sale on 16 June of the plates which images are visible in the book "The main monuments of France" (1875) or 'Reconstruction of the City Hall of Paris' (1884). It is in the latter that Édouard Baldus invests its last resources. Threatened by bankruptcy, it will give pawn to its creditors a set of plates.  The appearance of these plates of heliography allows to better understand the work of Édouard Baldus, and complete history of photography.

City Hall, taken from the dock, serious overview in 1884 plate photogravure. €600/800


Exhibition: June 15 from 11: 00 to 21: 00. June 16 from 11: 00 to 12: 00 auction: room 11-Drouot. 16 June at 14: 00. By Copages Auction. Sale catalogue