PORTRAIT OF A PRETTY PARISIAN YOUNG WOMAN BY CELEBRATED PHOTOGRAPHER, ALPHONSE LIEBERT (1890 CDV)

The pretty young woman seen in this carte de visite portrait, is named Anna Lesian. An inscription on the reverse of the cdv reveals her name and the year (1890) that the photograph was taken. The photo was taken at the studio of A. Liebert, in Paris, France. The Getty Museum, located in Los Angeles, California, as well as other fine museums, have  photographs in their collections by Paris photographer, Alphonse J. Liebert (1827-1913). Many of his Parisian subjects were actresses. Perhaps Miss Lesian is one of those actresses. Mr. Liebert has an interesting story. He was a photographer in Nevada City, California (1857-1862),  and later, operated in Paris (1863-1890’s). He was born in France. He became an officer in the French Navy. He left the navy in 1848 to study daguerreotypy. He must have reenlisted in the navy because In 1851, he arrived in San Francisco, as a Lieutenant on a French ship. This was a time when there was much excitement about Gold mining. As a result, there was a mass desertion of the ship’s crew. The sailors joined the rush for gold. Liebert had in mind, his own venture. He and two partners decided to take on the project of refurbishing a steamship. They sought investors and hired workers to transform the ship. However, due to the partners inexperience, the venture failed. Liebert than tried gold mining but met little success. In 1857 he opened a photo gallery in Nevada City. He lost thousands of dollars after a fire in 1858. In 1859 Liebert ridiculed a former photography pupil of his, named Louis Celarie, in the press. This started a bitter professional feud. Soon after, Liebert announced that he had won a medal at the state fair. Unfortunately, there was no evidence to confirm this claim. The competition between Liebert and Celarie was fierce. Each offered special promotions to best the other. By 1861, Liebert triumphed, evidenced by the sale of Celarie’s studio. About a year later, Liebert sold his photo gallery. By 1863, he had returned to France and opened a gallery specializing in tintypes. Liebert closely identified with his photography experience in America, and as a result, he named his Paris gallery “Photographie Americaine”. That very name can be seen on the reverse of this CDV. Liebert began to write photography articles and books, and ultimately, invented a prototype solar camera. In 1867, Liebert had a problem with the law. He was sentence to two months in prison and levied a fine of 200 francs. He was charged for the intent to distribute banned post mortem photographs. These were not photos of some random person. Instead, they were images of Emperor Maximillian, who had been executed in Mexico. Liebert ultimately did exhibit these photos. Liebert was becoming more and more successful. His photo gallery was so lavish that a reviewer for the British Journal of Photography wrote that it was “worthy of the smiles of the ‘God of Light’, and a repository for some of the best productions of the photographic art”. In 1879, Liebert’s gallery was the first studio to utilize electric light. By 1880, he was considered to have the most impressive photo studio in Paris. This carte de visite portrait has excellent clarity and is  in very good condition (see scans).

Buy this original Carte de Visite Photograph (includes shipping within the US) #2792

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$31.50

Buy this original Carte de Visite Photograph (includes International shipping outside the US) 2792

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$40.00

 

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