Who Created The First Permanent Photograph

By | 16/10/2022

French inventor and photographer (1765–1833)

Nicéphore Niépce

Nicéphore Niépce - Musée Nicéphore Niépce - DSC06022.JPG

portrait circa 1820


Joseph Nicéphore Niépce

(1765-03-07)7 March 1765

Chalon-sur-Saône, Burgundy, France

Died v July 1833(1833-07-05)
(aged 68)

Saint-Loup-de-Varennes, Saône-et-Loire, French republic

  • Inventor
  • photographer
Years active 1795−1833
Known for
  • Photography
  • Pyréolophore internal combustion engine
Nicéphore Niépce signature.svg

Joseph Nicéphore Niépce
[nisefɔʁ njɛps]; 7 March 1765 – 5 July 1833),[1]
commonly known or referred to simply as
Nicéphore Niépce, was a French inventor, usually credited as the inventor of photography and a pioneer in that field.[2]
Niépce adult heliography, a technique he used to create the earth’due south oldest surviving product of a photographic process: a print made from a photoengraved press plate in 1825.[3]
In 1826 or 1827, he used a primitive camera to produce the oldest surviving photograph of a existent-world scene. Among Niépce’s other inventions was the Pyréolophore, the globe’s first internal combustion engine, which he conceived, created, and adult with his older brother Claude Niépce.[4]



Early on life


Niépce was born in Chalon-sur-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, where his father was a wealthy lawyer. His older brother Claude (1763–1828) was also his collaborator in research and invention, just died one-half-mad and destitute in England, having squandered the family unit wealth in pursuit of non-opportunities for the
Pyréolophore. Niépce as well had a sister and a younger brother, Bernard.[v]

Nicéphore was baptized Joseph but adopted the proper noun Nicéphore, in honour of Saint Nicephorus the 9th-century Patriarch of Constantinople, while studying at the Oratorian college in Angers. At the higher he learned science and the experimental method, rapidly achieving success and graduating to work as a professor of the college.

Military career


Niépce served as a staff officer in the French regular army under Napoleon, spending a number of years in Italy and on the island of Sardinia, but ill health forced him to resign, whereupon he married Agnes Romero and became the Administrator of the commune of Nice in postal service-revolutionary French republic. In 1795, he resigned every bit administrator of Nice to pursue scientific research with his blood brother Claude. One source reports his resignation to have been forced due to his unpopularity.[5]

Scientific inquiry


In 1801 the brothers returned to the family unit’s estates in Chalon to continue their scientific research, and where they were united with their mother, their sister and their younger brother Bernard. Here they managed the family estate as independently wealthy gentlemen-farmers, raising beets and producing sugar.[5]

Claude Niépce


In 1827 Niépce journeyed to England to visit his seriously ill elder brother Claude Niépce, who was now living in Kew, well-nigh London. Claude had descended into delirium and squandered much of the family unit fortune chasing inappropriate business opportunities for the



Nicéphore Niépce died of a stroke on five July 1833, financially ruined such that his grave in the cemetery of Saint-Loup de Varennes was financed by the municipality. The cemetery is near the family business firm where he had experimented and had made the globe’s first photographic paradigm.[half-dozen]



His son Isidore (1805–68) formed a partnership with Daguerre later on his male parent’south decease and was granted a government pension in 1839 in return for disclosing the technical details of Nicéphore’s heliogravure process.[5]

A cousin, Claude Félix Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor (1805–1870), was a chemist and was the first to use albumen in photography. He also produced photographic engravings on steel. During 1857–1861, he discovered that uranium salts emit a class of radiations that is invisible to the human being heart.[eight]





One of the three earliest known photographic artifacts, created by Nicéphore Niépce in 1825. It is an ink-on-paper print, but the printing plate used to make it was photographically created by Niépce’due south heliography process. Information technology reproduces a 17th-century Flemish engraving.

The primeval saved photographic paradigm (Heliograph on pewter plate) from 1827 by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce, taken at Le Gras, France.

The date of Niépce’s offset photographic experiments is uncertain. He was led to them by his involvement in the new art of lithography,[9]
for which he realized he lacked the necessary skill and artistic ability, and by his associate with the camera obscura, a drawing assistance which was pop amidst affluent dilettantes in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The photographic camera obscura’s beautiful simply fleeting fiddling “light paintings” inspired a number of people, including Thomas Wedgwood and Henry Play a joke on Talbot, to seek some way of capturing them more hands and effectively than could be done by tracing over them with a pencil.

Letters to his sister-in-police effectually 1816 indicate that Niépce had managed to capture small camera images on paper coated with silver chloride,[10]
making him plain the starting time to accept any success at all in such an endeavour, but the results were negatives, dark where they should be lite and vice versa, and he could notice no style to stop them from concealment all over when brought into the light for viewing.

Niépce turned his attending to other substances that were affected by low-cal, eventually concentrating on Bitumen of Judea, a naturally occurring asphalt that had been used for various purposes since ancient times. In Niépce’s fourth dimension, it was used past artists as an acid-resistant coating on copper plates for making etchings. The creative person scratched a drawing through the blanket, then bathed the plate in acrid to compose the exposed areas, then removed the coating with a solvent and used the plate to print ink copies of the cartoon onto paper. What interested Niépce was the fact that the bitumen coating became less soluble after it had been left exposed to low-cal.

Niépce dissolved bitumen in lavender oil, a solvent ofttimes used in varnishes,[xi]
and thinly coated it onto a lithographic stone or a sheet of metal or drinking glass. Later on the coating had dried, a test subject, typically an engraving printed on paper, was laid over the surface in close contact and the two were put out in directly sunlight. After sufficient exposure, the solvent could be used to rinse away only the unhardened bitumen that had been shielded from light by lines or dark areas in the test subject. The parts of the surface thus laid bare could then be etched with acid, or the remaining bitumen could serve equally the water-repellent fabric in lithographic printing.

Niépce chosen his procedure heliography, which literally ways “lord’s day drawing”.[12]
In 1822, he used it to create what is believed to have been the world’due south first permanent photographic paradigm,[thirteen]
a contact-exposed copy of an engraving of Pope Pius VII, but information technology was subsequently destroyed when Niépce attempted to brand prints from it.[13]
The earliest surviving photographic artifacts past Niépce, fabricated in 1825,[3]
are copies of a 17th-century engraving of a human with a horse and of what may exist an etching or engraving of a woman with a spinning bike. They are only sheets of plain newspaper printed with ink in a press press, similar ordinary etchings, engravings, or lithographs, simply the plates used to print them were created photographically by Niépce’s procedure rather than by laborious and inexact hand-engraving or drawing on lithographic stones. They are, in essence, the oldest photocopies. One example of the print of the human being with a horse and two examples of the impress of the woman with the spinning wheel are known to have survived. The onetime is in the collection of the Bibliothèque nationale de France in Paris and the latter 2 are in a individual collection in the United States.

Niépce’s correspondence with his brother Claude has preserved the fact that his first real success in using bitumen to create a permanent photo of the image in a camera obscura came in 1824. That photograph, made on the surface of a lithographic stone, was subsequently effaced. In 1826 or 1827 he over again photographed the aforementioned scene, the view from a window in his firm, on a canvas of bitumen-coated pewter. The result has survived and is now the oldest known camera photo still in beingness. The historic image had seemingly been lost early in the 20th century, but photography historian Helmut Gernsheim succeeded in tracking information technology down in 1952. The exposure time required to make it is usually said to have been 8 or ix hours, but that is a mid-20th century supposition based largely on the fact that the dominicus lights the buildings on reverse sides, as if from an arc across the heaven, indicating an essentially day-long exposure. A later researcher who used Niépce’due south notes and historically correct materials to recreate his processes found that in fact
several days
of exposure in the camera were needed to adequately capture such an image on a bitumen-coated plate.[14]

In 1829,[xvi]
Niépce entered into a partnership with Louis Daguerre, who was also seeking a ways of creating permanent photographic images with a photographic camera. Together, they developed the physautotype, an improved process that used lavender oil distillate as the photosensitive substance. The partnership lasted until Niépce’s death in 1833, afterwards which Daguerre continued to experiment, somewhen working out a process that only superficially resembled Niépce’southward.[17]
He named it the “daguerréotype”, later himself. In 1839 he managed to go the government of French republic to purchase his invention on behalf of the people of France. The French government agreed to honour Daguerre a yearly stipend of 6,000 francs for the balance of his life, and to give the manor of Niépce iv,000 francs yearly. This organisation rankled Niépce’s son, who claimed Daguerre was reaping all the benefits of his father’s work. In some ways, he was right—for many years, Niépce received fiddling credit for his contribution. Afterward historians have reclaimed Niépce from relative obscurity, and it is now generally recognized that his “heliography” was the first successful example of what we now telephone call “photography”:[eleven]
the creation of a reasonably lite-fast and permanent image by the action of lite on a light-sensitive surface and subsequent processing.

Although initially ignored amid the excitement caused by the introduction of the daguerreotype, and far too insensitive to be practical for making photographs with a camera, the utility of Niépce’s original process for its main purpose was somewhen realized. From the 1850s until well into the 20th century, a thin coating of bitumen was widely used as a slow but very effective and economical photoresist for making printing plates.



Draisienne congenital by Niépce, 1818 – Musée Nicéphore Niépce

The Pyréolophore, probably the globe’due south first internal combustion engine that was really built, was invented and patented by the Niépce brothers in 1807. This engine ran on controlled dust explosions of lycopodium powder and was installed on a boat that ran on the river Saône. 10 years later on, the brothers were the offset in the globe to make an engine piece of work with a fuel injection system.[xviii]

Marly auto


In 1807 the majestic government opened a contest for a hydraulic machine to replace the original Marly machine (located in Marly-le-Roi) that delivered water to the Palace of Versailles from the Seine river. The auto was built in Bougival in 1684, from where information technology pumped h2o a distance of one kilometer and raised it 150 meters. The Niépce brothers conceived a new hydrostatic principle for the auto and improved it again in 1809. The machine had undergone changes in many of its parts, including more precise pistons, creating far less resistance. They tested information technology many times, and the event was that with a stream drop of iv anxiety iv inches, it lifted water 11 feet. But in December 1809 they got a bulletin that they had waited too long and the Emperor had taken on himself the decision to inquire the engineer Périer [fr]
(1742–1818) to build a steam engine to operate the pumps at Marly.[19]



In 1818 Niépce became interested in the antecedent of the bicycle, a Laufmaschine invented past Karl von Drais in 1817. He built himself a model and called it the vélocipède (fast foot) and acquired quite a awareness on the local country roads. Niépce improved his motorcar with an adjustable saddle and information technology is now exhibited at the Niépce Museum. In a letter to his brother Nicéphore contemplated motorizing his car.[twenty]

Legacy and commemoration


The lunar crater Niépce is named afterwards him.

As of 2008[update]
Niépce’s photograph
View from the Window at Le Gras
is on brandish in the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin. The prototype was rediscovered in 1952 past historians Alison and Helmut Gernsheim.[21]

The Niépce Prize has been awarded annually since 1955 to a professional photographer who has lived and worked in French republic for over iii years. It was introduced in honour of Niépce by Albert Plécy of the l’Association Gens d’Images.

Meet too


  • Timeline of photography technology
  • Timeline of transportation technology
  • History of the internal combustion engine
  • François Isaac de Rivaz
  • Janine Niépce, lensman
  • List of works past Eugène Guillaume



  1. ^

    Nicéphore Niépce at the
    Encyclopædia Britannica

  2. ^

    Baatz, Willfried (1997).
    Photography: An Illustrated Historical Overview. New York: Barron’due south. p. xvi. ISBN0-7641-0243-v.

  3. ^



    “World’s oldest photo sold to library”.
    BBC News. 21 March 2002. Retrieved
    17 November
    The image of an engraving depicting a human leading a equus caballus was made in 1825 by Nicéphore Niépce, who invented a technique known as heliogravure.

  4. ^

    “Nicéphore Niépce House Museum”.
    Nicéphore Niépce House Museum.

  5. ^






    “History of Art: History of Photography”.

  6. ^






    “Le Pyréolophore de Nicéphore”.
    Ferragus. Archived from the original on 20 July 2019. Retrieved
    17 Baronial

  7. ^




    Research Joseph Nicéphore Niépce – Scientific discipline and Its Times.

  8. ^

    In 1861, Niépce de Saint-Victor concluded that uranium salts emitted an invisible radiation that caused photographic plates to fog. From pages 34–35 of: Niépce de Saint-Victor (1861) “Cinquième mémoire sur une nouvelle activity de la lumière” (5th memoir on a new activeness of light),
    Comptes rendus
    … , vol. 53, pages 33–35.
    “… cette activité persistante … ne peut mème pas être de la phosphorescence, machine elle ne durerait pas si longtemps, d’après les expériences de 1000. Edmond Becquerel; il est donc plus likely que c’est un rayonnement invisible à nos yeux, comme le croit K. Léon Foucault, ….”
    “… this persistent activity … cannot exist due to phosphorescence, for it [phosphorescence] would not last and then long, co-ordinate to the experiments of Mr. Edmond Becquerel; information technology is thus more than likely that information technology is a radiation that is invisible to our eyes, as Mr. Léon Foucault believes, ….”

  9. ^

    “Around the Globe in 1896 : A Brief History of Photography”. United states: The Library of Congress. 2002. Retrieved
    18 September

  10. ^

    Stokstad, Marilyn; David Cateforis; Stephen Addiss (2005).
    Art History
    (Second ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Pedagogy. p. 964. ISBN0-xiii-145527-3.

  11. ^



    Gorman, Jessica (2007). “Photography at a Crossroads”.
    Scientific discipline News.
    (21): 331–333. doi:ten.2307/4013861. JSTOR 4013861.

  12. ^

    Baatz, Willfried (1997).
    Photography: An Illustrated Historical Overview. New York: Barron’s. p. xvi. ISBN0-7641-0243-5.

  13. ^



    “The Showtime Photograph — Heliography”. Archived from the original on 6 October 2009. Retrieved
    29 September
    from Helmut Gernsheim’s commodity, “The 150th Anniversary of Photography,” in History of Photography, Vol. I, No. 1, January 1977: … In 1822, Niépce coated a glass plate … The sunlight passing through … This offset permanent case … was destroyed … some years later.

  14. ^

    Niépce Photograph Museum: Invention of Photography, Function 3 Archived 16 March 2014 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 25 May 2013.

  15. ^

    Nicéphore Niépce’southward House Museum
    – via YouTube.

  16. ^

    “Joseph Nicéphore Niépce”.
    Microsoft Encarta Online Encyclopedia. 2008. Archived from the original on 27 June 2008. Retrieved
    27 June

  17. ^

    Crawford, William (1979).
    The Keepers of Light. New York: Morgan & Morgan. pp. 23–27. ISBN0-87100-158-vi.

  18. ^

    “The Pyreolophore”.

  19. ^

    “Other Inventions: the Marly Motorcar”. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved
    3 July

  20. ^

    “Other Inventions: the Velocipede”. Archived from the original on 28 July 2012. Retrieved
    3 July

  21. ^

    Gernsheim, Helmet; Gernsheim, Alison (September 1952). “Rediscovery of the Earth’s First Photograph”
    Image, Journal of Photography of George Eastman House. Rochester, NY: International Museum of Photography at George Eastman Business firm Inc.
    (6): 1–2. Archived from the original
    on 4 March 2016. Retrieved
    24 June



  • Marignier, J. 50.,
    Niépce: l’invention de la photographie
  • Bajac, Q.,
    The Invention of Photography, trans. R. Taylor (2002)

External links


  • Website nigh Niépce
    (in French)
  • Website about Niépce
  • University of Texas exhibition site on “The First Photo”
  • The history men: Helmut Gernsheim and Nicéphore Niépce on Photo Histories
  • Documentary video on restoration of Nicephore Niepce’southward domicile
    on YouTube
  • Home page of the ‘Niépce prize’ at the association
    Gens d’Images

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nic%C3%A9phore_Ni%C3%A9pce