Jules Richard’s Atrium

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The name Jules Richard is synonymous for innovative stereoscopy products that revived stereo photography in Europe. He remains unmarried all his life but is constantly surrounded by women. Soon after the launch of the Vérascope camera in 1893, he puts the first series of erotic stereoviews on the market. In 1909 he had a Roman Atrium built next to his house, which he used as a photo studio. In the Atrium and the surrounding gardens, erotic photos are taken by himself and by other photographers. The models pose in a mythological setting from classical antiquity, which is intended to make the erotic photos more acceptable. The models come mainly from the Parisian nightclubs and are professional or amateur models.

110266, Atrium 1913
45x107 mm glass stereoview by Vérascope Richard
110266, Atrium 1913
45x107mm glass stereoview by Vérascope Richard

The total range of erotic glass stereoviews is approximately 7.500, of which an estimated 6.350 are made by Jules Richard himself [1]. The images are sold discreetly and the buyers can select the desired images from catalogs. The glass slides in the 45x107mm format are numbered according to an ascending scheme and the recording information has been preserved so that information about location, year and sometimes even the names of the models is known. From these lists it can be concluded that some images are not intended for sale and were probably made for private purposes only. Some images show models being captured from different camera angles simultaneously, showing that several photographers were active during a session.

After Jules’ death, the Atrium was demolished in the 1930s to allow for expansion of the factory.

160974, Model Hélène, Atrium, 1918
45x107 mm glass stereoview by Vérascope Richard
160974, Model Hélène, Atrium, 1918
45x107 mm glass stereoview by Vérascope Richard
160974, Model Hélène, Atrium, 1918
45x107mm glass stereoview by Vérascope Richard

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References

  1. Jules Richard et la Magie du Relief – part 3, Jacques Perin, 1993