CROS, Charles. Solution générale du problème de la photographie des couleurs par Charles Cros. Prix: 1 Franc. Paris, chez Gauthier-Villars, et au bureau du journal Les Mondes, 1869.
8vo [23.4 x 15.5 cm]; 12 pp. Original printed wrappers, slipcase.
Rare first edition.
Charles Cros is especially known as a poet: Le Coffret de santal, published by the author in 1873, drew the attention with the passing years of various minds such as Verlaine, Laforgue or Léautaud; Le Collier de griffes, posthumous (1908), will appear to the Surrealist as an exemplary work of the revolt like the one or Rimbaud or Lautréamont. But, for a long time, the general public only wants to know « Le Hareng-saur », sec, sec, sec… Very few people know that this encyclopaedic mind is also a scientist, explorer of the mysteries of the outer space, inventor of the phonograph and of colour photography […]. The first book of this man who likes to think he is a poet is a scientific work: it’s the present volume […]. This pamphlet recapitulates the main points of the paper read at the Science society two years earlier (1867) and an article published in “Les Mondes”, a scientific periodical edited by the abbot Moigno (February 23d, 1869). However, Cros adds here an essential new invention: the chromatic synthesis. From that moment, colour photography has been discovered, at least in theory”. Unfortunately, Ducos de Hauron , at exactly the same time and independently, got the same results, leading to a brief controversy and depriving Cros of a part of his glory. However until the last months of his life he kept doing researches that obeyed the same passion as the one of the Impressionists for colour. Besides, it is according to the “Printemps” of Manet (1882) that Cros realized his first coloured prints (reproduction in the Oeuvres completes of Charles Cors, Pauvert, 1964, pp. 528-529). Louis Forestier. En Français dans le texte, B.n.F., n°292.
A good copy. Only one copy has been recorded in ABPC for the last 33 years.