Tatiana at the Beach: Early Color Autochrome Photography by Ernest-Louis Lessieux
The Autochrome was a pioneering color photography process invented by the Lumière brothers in France. First patented in 1903 and marketed in 1907, the process revolutionized photography by enabling the creation of color images for the first time. In 1907, the same year the process was introduced, photographs were taken using Autochrome.
One such photograph captures Tatiana, a young woman relaxing on a beach. The identity of the photographer remains unknown, but the photograph itself offers a fascinating glimpse into the past.
Ernest Louis Lessieux, a skilled watercolorist and teacher, was born in La Rochelle, France in 1848. After studying at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris, Lessieux volunteered for military service in the war against Prussia. In the 1880s, he began traveling to Menton on the French Riviera, where he eventually settled with his family in a house decorated with murals by the local artist Guillaume Cerutti-Maori. Lessieux became successful and wealthy by giving art lessons to English visitors.
Lessieux passed away in Menton in 1925, leaving behind a legacy of artistic skill and a deep appreciation for the beauty of life. As for Tatiana and how she came to be photographed on the beach, the mystery remains unsolved, but the photograph remains a testament to the power of photography to capture fleeting moments and preserve them for future generations.