A 177-year-old photo of a cow that is said to be the earliest photo ever taken of a living animal will be on display in a new exhibition in New York.
The black-and-white image shows the animal resting next to a cart at a livestock market in Rome and is dated between April and July 1842.
It was taken by the French photographer Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, who also took early photos of Greece, Turkey and the Middle East during his Mediterranean journey.
The photo is now being shown publicly for the first time after being loaned to an exhibition called & # 39; By Hoof, Paw, Wing or Fin: Creatures in Photographs & # 39 ;.
The oldest photo of an animal ever? This 1842 image of a cow at a livestock market in Rome, made by the Frenchman Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey, is claimed to be the earliest photo of a living animal that exists
Lying goat: this photo was taken in Rome in 1850 by Giacomo Caneva, an Italian artist who worked in 19th-century Rome, starting as a painter and then adapting his skills to photography
Jumbo the elephant: this photo was taken around 1882 by Edward Bierstadt. The African elephant became famous when the American showman PT Barnum brought him to the United States in 1882
Photo dealers Hans P Kraus Jr Fine Photographs received the photo just a few days before the exhibition opened and declared it the oldest photo of an existing animal.
The 177-year-old daguerreotype – the first publicly available type of photography – has the title: & # 39; Rome, Forum, Boeufs & # 39 ;.
It is believed to have been taken when the Prangey stopped in Rome, his first stop during his Mediterranean journey.
The exhibition also shows a range of other wildlife, including birds, butterflies, elephants, hippos and fish, representing animals in photography from the Prangey piece from 1842 to 2009.
Other photos shown include a still life photo of fish taken in 1907 with an early method of color photography developed by the French Lumière brothers, who were also among the earliest filmmakers.
A lying goat caught in Rome in the 1850s by Italian artist Giacomo Caneva, and an image from 1891 of a circus bear with his trainer can also be seen in the exhibition.
Circus bear with trainer: This photo is believed to be showing the German zoo impresario Carl Hagenbeck with one of the wild animals he trained for circuses in Europe and the United States. The photo was made by Peter Nissen in 1891
Horse-drawn American Express car: this 1850 photograph shows one of the company's delivery cars, when American Express was known as a delivery company instead of a credit card company
Still life with fish: this photo was taken around 1907 using the Autochrome Lumière method, an early form of color photography developed by the French Lumière brothers who were also among the earliest filmmakers
And an artotype captured by Edward Bierstadt in 1882 shows a more famous subject – Jumbo the Elephant, made famous by the American showman P.T. Barnum.
Jumbo was born in Sudan and exhibited in zoos in Germany, Paris, and London, before being bought by Barnum in 1882 and shown in the US, increasing the fame of both the elephant and Barnum.
Bierstadt & # 39; s photo from 1882 shows Jumbo towering above a group of men standing around him, with his trunk curled up and mouth open.
The popularity of animal photos in the later 19th century grew with the emergence of the public zoo in major cities across Europe.
These early zoos offered people opportunities to view rare and wild animals up close for the first time.
The exhibition & # 39; Creatures In Photography & # 39; is currently on display by Hans P. Kraus Jr. Fine Photographs in New York and can be viewed until November 15.
Pictured left: a hippo photographed in 1929 by Martin Mukacsi, a Hungarian photographer; right: a photo of a cat sitting on a newspaper taken around 1870 by Harry Pointer as part of a series called Brighton Cats
Circus animals: dogs, lions and tigers are seen in this circus show organized by Carl Hagenbeck, who trained animals for performances and also supplied wild animals to European zoos. This image is from 1891
Butterfly: this photo without title was taken by Adam Fuss in 2009 and is the most recent entry in the exhibition in New York
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