Pierre Dubreuil - Photographs New York Wednesday, October 7, 2015 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    The collection of Tom Jacobson, San Diego

  • Catalogue Essay

    It is not surprising that Pierre Dubreuil got caught up in the stereo photography craze that swept over France in the first decades of the 20th Century. Fueled by the ingenious taking and viewing devices invented by Dubreuil's friend and photo-club colleague Louis Joseph Colardeau, stereo photography, with its capacity to show pictures in three dimensions (3D), was irresistible for even some of the most serious art photographers of the era. The small format stereo cameras of the Verascope Richard Company opened up a new arena of spontaneous photography - a precursor to the Leica phenomenon of street photography that was to appear some 10 to 15 years later.

    The thriving northern port of Dunkirk provided a multi level playground for a stereo photographer, and Dubreuil took full advantage of foreground, mid-ground and backgrounds. Some of these views were taken on short trips in Holland, and many at home, in Lille, France. Dubreuil's interest in horses and horse-carts is manifestly evident, as is his amazing ability to compose complex groups of figures. All these works show his uncanny feeling for forms in space.

    Further, although Pierre Dubreuil wrote extensively about his exhibition photography, little is known today of his activities as a stereo photographer. Done for his amusement, the handheld 3D pictures were an exhilarating photographic activity for the artist. Remarkably, the works being offered in the present lot are the only known surviving pictures in this format and thus give rare testament to the formidable eye of Pierre Dubreuil circa 1910. Viewing these 72 stereographs today, one is provided with an unforgettable, visceral experience.

    Dubreuil meant for these images to be viewed in 3D and this effect can be achieved through viewing each of the stereographs through the custom viewer accompanying the lot, and available to use in our pre-sale exhibition at 450 Park Avenue. In order to demonstrate the same stereo, or 3D effect online that would be achieved through looking at the stereograph in the custom viewer, we have created anaglyphs, or composite images, from the original stereographs. The anaglyphs are a combined image of the right and left panels of the stereograph with the addition of red and cyan. When either of the two anaglyphs that are illustrated with this lot are viewed through 3D glasses (such as those provided in the printed catalogue), red for the left eye, cyan for the right, the artist’s intended 3D effect is closely replicated. We invite you to experience the 3D world of Pierre Dubreuil through viewing these anaglyphs.

    All 72 stereographs, as well as a more comprehensive presentation of the anaglyphs, are available to view and experience on our website, http://phillips.com/feature/complete-stereographs-and-diapositives-of-pierre-dubreuil


A complete set of the artist's known stereographs

72 glass plate positive stereographs. Accompanied by a custom viewer designed specifically for Dubreuil's stereographs.
Each glass plate, 1 3/4 x 4 1/4 in. (45 x 107 mm)

$30,000 - 50,000 

Contact Specialist
Vanessa Hallett
Worldwide Head, Photographs

Sarah Krueger
Head of Sale, New York

General Enquiries:
+1 212 940 1245


New York Auction 8 October 2015