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The French photographer Camille Silvy (1834 1910) was one of the most original artists of his time. More than any other nineteenth-century photographer, Silvy exemplifies Charles Baudelaire's idea of the artist as an interpreter of modern life. This book explores Silvy's innovative efforts to master industrial-scale portrait production alongside fineart photography in his popular London studio. Presenting sitters in modern dress was a new phenomenon and Silvy was a pioneer in the creation of the carte-de-visite(a photographic visiting card). This fascinating account of Silvy's life and photography is published to mark the centenary of his death. Combining research into exhibition prints, still lifes, and street scenes, as well as the intimate, beautifully lit and posed cartes-de-visite, the book demonstrates Silvy's extraordinary originality and his life as a man of both art and commerce. A previously unpublished photographic collection of his family is also included.