Chromos, black and white photos colorized

Chromo de bateauAmong the many frames on the walls of Domaine du Meunier, are panoramic views of tourist attractions, monuments and natural sites from the early 20th century. Is it a photograph or a painting?

Between black & whithe and color photography

Halfway between photography and lithography, chromo technique was born late 19th century, and developed until the arrival of the first color film in 1935. In a chromo, realism and detail of photography are there, but the colors do not seem quite real. Seem to have been washed out, reminding watercolors, or sometimes very vivid, it is these colors that give chromos that tone so special.

Chromo-promenade-des-anglais
Bright colors for the Promenade des anglais in Nice !

The principle was invented in the 1880 by Hans Jacob Schmid employee of the Swiss company Orell Füssli & Cie. In 1888, the process is patented and a subsidiary is created that took the name of P. Z. Photoglob. The French Leo Vidal, is also a partner in the development of this technique. The invention is presented in the Universal Exhibition of 1900 in Paris and received a very enthusiastic reception which marks the beginning of the success of this technique.

Colors invented

The technique of the photochromic is quite complex. It is a process of « coloring » of a photo, taking place by several passages on lithographic stones full of inks of various colors.

Colorisation de chromo
Chromos details on which one we can see the choices of colorits

The chromos start  with a photography and then gradually transform into painting. The artists adds a boat, clouds,  more or less vivid colors. They are at the mercy of their imagination!
Chromos grow with tourism and are sold on the most visited sites.

Chromo Nice

Nice2
Nice before and after the 2nd World War

A travel image

Chromos Royan
Chromos series about Royan

In the rooms, apartments and hall of the Domaine du Meunier, you will see many chromos, which are associated by theme. In the Appartement de la Gironde and the Chambre de la Falaise, Royan is honored; in the Appartement du Meunier, Brest is represented. On the walls of Chambre du Nord, there are panoramic views of Mont Saint Michel and Paris and in the Appartement de la Gironde we can also go to the Pyrenees and the Pays Basque. We travel to Cote d’Azur with Nice and Cannes in the Appartement du Port and also to Africa in the Chambre du Sud.
A touching anecdote : a visitor, born in Oran who had never returned to his city of birth, began to cry with emotion in the Chambre du Sud because his old house appeared on a chromo.

Constantinople
Panoramic view of Constantinople in the Chambre de la Minoterie
This is only a small part of the collection of chromos. Coen’s favorites are the chromos found in series (same theme, same frame) and above all, the chromo with boats in the hall !
Chromo Maroc
Chromo of Maroc, Chambre du Sud

Sources :
http://egyptophile.blogspot.fr/2015/04/les-photochromes-de-vraies-photos-avec.html
http://www.swissinfo.ch/fre/photochrome–quand-la-suisse-coloriait-le-monde/7235608
http://www1.rfi.fr/culturefr/articles/109/article_77866.asp

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