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Base et Moraines du glacier inferieur de Grindelwald.

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Base et Moraines du glacier inferieur de Grindelwald.

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Picryl description: Public domain image of a mountain landscape, rocks, mountains, free to use, no copyright restrictions.

Photography historian Naomi Rosenblum described Braun's work as representative of the relationship between art and commercialism in the mid-19th century. His self-sustaining Mulhouse studio helped elevate photography from a craft to a full-scale business enterprise, producing thousands of unique images which were reproduced and marketed throughout Europe and North America. Rosenblum also suggests that Braun's detailed reproductions of works of art in European museums brought these works to art students in North America, providing a major catalyst for the field of art history in the United States. Braun's son Henri trained as a painter, but changed careers to lead his father's art documentary campaigns. Between 1867 and 1870 he organized work in Italy, particularly at the Vatican, including the first photo-documentation of the Sistine Chapel frescoes. Braun's early photographs were primarily of flowers, originally taken to complement his work as a pattern designer. Subsequent photographs focused on Alpine landscapes, especially lake scenes, and glacier scenes. Unlike many landscape photographers during this period, Braun liked to include people in his scenes. Photography historian Helmut Gernsheim suggested that Braun was one of the most skillful photographers of his era in rendering composition. While not known as a portraitist, he did take portraits of several notable individuals, including Pope Pius IX, Franz Liszt, and the Countess of Castiglione, mistress of Napoleon III. Braun's work has been exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, the George Eastman House, and the Musée d'Orsay. His photographs of Parisian street scenes and Alpine landscapes are frequently reproduced in works on the history of photography.

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Date

1863
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Source

J. Paul Getty Museum
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Digital image courtesy of the Getty's Open Content Program.

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