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An Arrangement of Tobacco Leaves and Grass by Charles Aubry

An Arrangement of Tobacco Leaves and Grass, 1864

Charles Aubry

This otherworldly composition from the early days of photography presents a collection of leaves with such delicacy, it’s as if a slight movement of air could disturb it. This deliberately-composed model of nature was in fact a model ⎯ the artist created this image as a more realistic guide for students of industrial design, who usually used lithographs as patterns. The photographic method he used took 45 minutes to expose, so the artist dipped the plants in plaster to make them look more three dimensional and to mask the color green, which often didn’t render well in the negative image.

Credit
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
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