About this artwork

A photogravure, also called a heliogravure, is made using a copper plate with a roughened surface which has been coated with a light-sensitive gelatine tissue. The plate is exposed to a film transparency (the photographic image) and etched. Eugene was a painter and a photographer. He developed his own distinctive style of photogravure, hand-working his photographic negatives with brushstrokes, shading and scratching. Here, he has used semi-transparent Japanese paper so that the lighter backing paper can shine through. In the 1890s Eugene worked in New York on stage designs for the play of Rip Van Winkle, which starred the actor Joseph Jefferson. The boy in this image is likely to be the actor’s son. This photogravure appeared in the influential quarterly photographic journal, 'Camera Work', published by Alfred Stieglitz.

Frank Eugene

Frank Eugene

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