Feet, fish and rodents revealed in 19th century X-ray photogravures
Shortly after Wilhelm Röntgen announced his discovery of X-rays, Josef Maria Eder and Eduard Valenta produced their portfolio of prints using the new technology.
Last month, a researcher’s visit gave us a good excuse to marvel anew at this fabulous portfolio. It shows some of the earliest examples of prints made using X-rays.
These images date from early 1896, merely a couple of months after Wilhelm Röntgen announced his discovery of X-rays. The announcement caused a stir among scientists, and a craze for the new technology among the general public.
Josef Maria Eder and Eduard Valenta seem to have revelled in revealing things that were previously hidden or invisible. Human bones in hands and feet, cold blooded lizards and a snake, fish and rodents are all uncovered and revealed in perfect photogravure.
The portfolio Versuche über Photographie mittelst der Röntgen’schen Strahlen contains 15 photogravures and an accompanying essay. It has just been conserved, ready for exhibiting next year. We’re lucky to have this complete example, as well as a good selection of individual prints in our collection. Get in touch, book a visit, and come and see it!