“Hercule Florence, the new Robinson”, has opened at Villa Paloma and runs until June 11.The exhibition is the result of a five-year research project on the work of Brazilian inventor and artist Hercule Florence (1804-1879), presenting it for the first time to the European public. Linda Fregni Nagler and Cristiano Raimondi serve as curators of this exhibition, which will be accompanied by a publication bringing together many international contributions.
Inventor of zoophony, a system of musical notation of bird songs, and polygraphy, a method of printing based on the principles of photography, Hercule Florence developed a photographic process as early as 1833 in Brazil, irrespective of the research carried out in Europe at the time, and was the first to use the term “photography”.
The drawings and manuscripts of Hercules Florence, as well as the first photographic copy of the history of the Americas, are gathered together for the first time in the same exhibition, which is partnered with Van Cleef & Arpels and UBS Monaco.
This very complete panorama makes it possible to retrace the development of the thought and work of Hercules Florence. His method, which involves copying, drawing and reproduction, whether manual or automatic, is the central theme of the exhibition.
The necessity of reproducing his own works in some quantity led Florence to invent printing systems which might offer an alternative to engraving, such as photography.
The project aims to make this famous person his true place in the history of culture, and more particularly of photography, while showing the relationship between his approach and that of his peers. An in-depth study of the origins of photography makes it possible to take a major step forward in the understanding of this complex figure.
Open daily from 10 am to 6 pm (€6) with free admission every Sunday, with the added incentive of a reading of Hercules Florence manuscripts for visitors at 4 pm.