Knight with walking stick. Circa 1865.

Ambrotype portrait of a quarter plate (1/4). Measurements: 7.5 x 6.5 cm / 2.95 x 2.56 in. Hand colored. Case (missing lid) made of wood lined in morocco leather and with peripheral ornamentation in gold. Flexible and golden copper holding band with phytomorphic figures on its upper edge. Bronze mat or passepartout in smooth and golden texture, presents an oval window with a fine dotted line.


For the occasion -it could well be said that it was solemn in those days- our portrayed person wears a dark jacket and jacket, a white shirt with a wide tie to match and light pants. Against a plain gray background that highlights his figure, he poses seated in front of the voluminous wooden camera and holds the wooden cane with both hands. We appreciate in the face the natural lighting that comes from a source on the right. The ambrotipist colored the cheeks with a soft crimson.


Faced with the high price at the time of the daguerreotypes, the young photographic industry presented a significantly cheaper substitute; they were the so-called ambrotypes on glass support whose similarity to daguerreotypes was surprising and were even inserted in their own cases. Basically that technical process consisted of a glass emulsified to the wet collodion, a weak or underexposed negative that, when placed on a black backing -in this case a black plush-, was converted by light reflection into a single positive.


The national production of ambrotypes overwhelmingly turned towards posed studio portraits -only six exterior views or "plein air" are known that document the Buenos Aires stay of "Los Yngleses"- as is the case of this iconographic record about an elegant old man posing facing his posterity.


Regarding the infrequency of these works, the photographic historian Abel Alexander maintains: “We must point out that due to their late emergence and short duration, ambrotypes are really scarce in relation to daguerreotypes and for this reason they are highly appreciated among collectors of the early Argentine photography”.


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