In the Eye of the Camera, 1867-1896

Introduction
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Creative Commons License
Photograph
Thomas Morland, Montreal, QC, painted photograph, 1870
William Notman (1826-1891)
1870, 19th century
Silver salts, oil on canvas - Albumen process
73 x 91 cm
Gift of Montreal General Hospital
N-0000.2.2
© McCord Museum
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Keywords:  Art (2774) , painted photograph (212) , Photograph (77678)
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Keys to History

At first glance many people would call this a painting. It is painted in oil on canvas and is set in an elaborate gilt frame. However, you may have noticed that the image is exactly the same as the portrait of Thomas Morland. The Notman studio applied the photographic emulsion to the canvas and printed the negative directly on it, very faintly. Edward Sharpe, one of the studio's more gifted artists, painted the coloured version in oil right over the photographic image. So it looks exactly like an original oil painting on canvas, and it's very easy to miss the thin layer of photographic emulsion between the canvas and the paint.