MS01.01.03.B02.F10.021

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18

The tradition of rendering the likemess of an individual
through the art of portraiture persisted well into the later
quarter of the nineteenth century at which time the camera was making
its way into the urban communities of the nation and was being
received with acclaim. Among the first American artists to use
the camera in combination with the medium of lithography was an
artist from New Orleans by the name of Jules Lion. Since he
was among the first artists to use the camera in America, it
is believed that Lion introduced the Daguerrotype as an
art form to the residents of the city of New Orleans. As early
as 1840, the follwoing account of the artist's work appeared in
a New Orleans newspaper:

"We are indebted to Mr. Lion of this city,
for an examination of some very exquisite
specimens of the Daguerrotype
taken by him. They are views of objects
familiar to the residents of New Orleans,
such as the St. Louis Hotel, the Cathedral,
the Levee, and a number o public edifices
and the perfection of the process can be
easily vested by comparing the solar copies
with the originals. They are the 1st.
speciments of drawing by the Dauguerreotype
we have seen. Nothing can be more truly
beautiful - The minutest object in the
original is reproduced in the copy, and with
the aid of a microscope, in a drawing of a
few inches square, representing a building
some sixty or seventy feet high, the inscription
on the signs, the division between the
bricks, the very insect that may have been
found uponthe wall at the time the inscription
was taken are rendered visible. It is a
wonderful discovery - one, too, that will
prove as useful as it is admirable. Mr. Lion
intends exhibiting his drawings in public on
Sunday next" 16

Lion was born in Paris and was schooled in the academic tradition
in art. He was twenty-six years old when he arrived in New
Orleans in 1836. He and Pointel Duportail conducted lectures on
the Dauguerrotype with the notion of enhancing the developing
business that he hoped to make the new art form. Lion is

16 NEW ORLEANS BEE, March 14, 1840, p.2

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