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Posidonius – Aristotle – Pôle Nord from Atlas photographique de la lune, vol. VI, plate XXXV
The present image, photographed in Paris on March 26, 1901, at seven hours eight minutes, is identified by the prominent lunar craters of Posidonius and Aristotle, and the North Pole of the moon, located in the lower-right corner of the image. The tonal range of the photogravure image provides a palpable sense of the topographical, even sculptural, quality of the moon's surface. The perception of objects astounded viewers at the turn of the century. The immense scale of this view is emphasized by the passage of rich black at the bottom of the plate. The juxtaposition of vast, empty space also indicates the substance of the moon's geography. With no antecedent to gauge the images against, and lacking knowledge of astronomy or geology, most viewers of the day must have been impressed by the stark, abstract beauty and the mysteries of nature reflected in these plates.
from Acton, A History of Photography at the University of Notre Dame: Twentieth Century (Notre Dame, 2019)