About the Photographer
Robert Demachy was born into a wealthy family, which allowed him to pursue creative interests unrestricted. He began experimenting with photography in the 1870s, and by the 1890s he was a prominent figure among photographers in France. Demachy worked across a range of genres, including portraits and street scenes—such as Mlle. D and Street in Lisieux, respectively (both 1906)—as well as landscapes, pictures of dancers, and nudes. Like other pictorialists, Demachy used soft focus to acheive a painterly quality in his photographs, but in an effort to create subjective works of art to rival painting he advocated more controversial measures, such as manipulating photographs intensely during the printing process in the darkroom. His photographs were exhibited widely, and in 1904 Alfred Stieglitz published a portfolio of Demachy's photographs in his journal Camera Work. An original member of the Photo-Club de Paris, Demarchy later became involved with similar organizations internationally, such as Stieglitz's Photo-Succession in New York and the London group the Linked Ring. Demarchy was also a prolific writer, communicating his theories of photography in hundreds of articles and several books. He gave up photography abruptly in 1914, some twenty years before his death.