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March 4, 2022

30 Stunning Color Photographs Taken by Lionel de Rothschild From the Early 20th Century

Lionel de Rothschild had a passion for photography and between 1908 and 1912 experimented with the autochrome, the first widely available color photographic process.

The autochrome, the first color widely available photographic process, was launched in Britain in September 1907. The invention of the French Lumière brothers, the process had first been demonstrated publicly in Paris. Lionel had a passion for photography, and loved to experiment; it was inevitable that he would try his hand with the autochrome, and so he did, and with considerable success. The 733 glass plates in his collection in The Rothschild Archive represent the largest single collection of autochrome plates by an individual British photographer to have survived.

Lionel’s earliest experiments appear to date from 1908 and by 1909 he was bringing back from his tour of Spain color plates of Granada and other points en route. At home he began to take pictures in the gardens of Ascott in Buckinghamshire, the family home designed for Lionel’s father in the 1880s. Other images were taken at Gunnersbury Park in west London, and the French estate of his cousin Edmond at Boulogne-sur-Seine, outside Paris. His work also includes portraits of family and friends.


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