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At the turn of the twentieth century, Robert Demachy (1859-1936) was one of the most famous photographers in the world. As the leader of the French school of pictorial photography, he fought tirelessly for the recognition of photography as a means of artistic creation. Demachy remains particularly important for his masterly use of pigment processes which enabled pictorial photographers to deeply modify the print for the sake of 'interpretation', then considered as the ultimate way to give a photograph its artistic value.
Robert Demachy’s work is far from being limited to these very impressive achievements.This exhibition gathers a hundred photographs, most hitherto unseen which show the breadth of his photography.
Normandy was a haven, as much as a source of inspiration, for Demachy, an aesthete who, although belonging to the Parisian upper class, dreamt of a simple life in the country. He was very fond of the Côte Fleurie where he spent each summer and which became the setting of many of his landscapes, portraits and snapshots.
The exhibition Robert Demachy. Impressions de Normandie was conceived as a journey. A journey through the Calvados region for one, but more importantly a journey into the creation of a photographic work from the creation of the negative to the public exhibition of a personal interpretation of the initial subject. Eighty years after his death in a small country house on the heights of Hennequeville (near Trouville), the Musée Villa Montebello has decided to pay tribute to Robert Demachy, a true artist and lover of Normandy who had elected, as a means of expression, not the brush, the pencil or the chisel, but the camera.
Curated by Julien Faure-Conorton, this exhibition is part of the 'Normandie Impressionniste' Festival. A catalogue (in French) is published in conjunction with the exhibition (Cahiers du Temps Editions, 120 pages).
Robert Demachy. Impressions de Normandie. Photographies du Calvados 1880-1920
June 18, 2016 – September 25, 2016
Open: Wednesday to Sunday – 10am to noon and 2pm to 5.30pm
Musée Villa Montebello
64, rue Général Leclerc - Trouville-sur-Mer, France
Image: Robert Demachy, Trouville Harbour, 1911-1914, oil transfer print, private collection.
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