The invention of the daguerreotype is generally considered to be the birth of photography. The Kynžvart daguerreotype, listed as a UNESCO “Memory of the World”, is a rarity in this respect. It is one of the rarest photographs in the world depicting still life with the motif of an artist’s studio.
It is the work of the inventor himself, Louis Jacques Mandé Daguerre, dedicated to Prince Metternich, who handwrote a note on the back about the importance of this gift. The inventor worked for 23 years on researching this method. He used a metal plate with a thin layer of silver to create the daguerreotype using chemicals. The photographer exposed the plate in a camera obscura, a precursor to the camera. The next step was then to make the image visible and steady it.
Kynžvart Castle, where a new exhibition is being prepared for the daguerreotype, is also worth a visit for its extensive collection of relics and objects from all over the world from Prince Metternich’s famous friends, including an Egyptological collection with mummies, a cabinet of curiosities and an exhibition of weapons and prints.