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Grant B. Romer

revised by Stephen C. Pinson

(b Cormeilles-en-Parisis, nr Paris, Nov 18, 1787; d Bry-sur-Marne, Paris, July 10, 1851).

French photographer, inventor, painter, printmaker, entrepreneur, and stage designer. He began his artistic training at the public school of drawing, and possibly served as an architect’s apprentice, in Orléans. He began his career in Paris around 1804 as a student of the stage designer Ignace-Eugène-Marie Degotti (c. 1759–1824), who led the painting studio of the Paris Opéra. Daguerre first appears as a day labourer in the records of the Opéra in 1808 and held various posts as a painter through to 1816. He also may have been a student of Jacques-Louis David, and early biographies of Pierre Prévost (1764–1823) state that Daguerre was one of Prévost’s assistants in the production of immense panorama paintings; extant documentation has not been found to support either claim, however. Daguerre exhibited his first independent work at the Salon of 1814, Interior of a Chapel in Feuillants Church (Paris, Louvre), which was purchased by Louis XVIII. During the next twenty years he exhibited four paintings and two lithographs at the Salon. He received the Légion d’honneur in ...