The Lumière brothers (UK: /ˈluːmiɛər/, US: /ˌluːmiˈɛər/; French: [lymjɛːʁ]), Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas ([oɡyst maʁi lwi nikɔla]; 19 October 1862 – 10 April 1954) and Louis Jean ([lwi ʒɑ̃]; 5 October 1864 – 7 June 1948), were among the first filmmakers in history. They patented an improved cinematograph, which in contrast to Thomas Edison's "peepshow" kinetoscope allowed simultaneous viewing by multiple parties.
Auguste and Louis Lumière
The inventors of the moving picture
|Resting place||New Guillotière Cemetery (location A6)|
|Alma mater||La Martiniere Lyon|
|Awards||Elliott Cresson Medal (1909)|
The Lumière brothers were born in Besançon, France, to Charles-Antoine Lumière (1840–1913) and Jeanne Joséphine Costille Lumière, who were married in 1861 and moved to Besançon, setting up a small photographic portrait studio where Auguste and Louis were born. They moved to Lyon in 1870, where son Edouard and three daughters were born. Auguste and Louis both attended La Martiniere, the largest technical school in Lyon. Their father Charles-Antoine set up a small factory producing photographic plates, but even with Louis and a young sister working from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. it teetered on the verge of bankruptcy, and by 1882 it looked as if they would fail, but when Auguste returned from military service the boys designed the machines necessary to automate their father's plate production and devised a very successful new photo plate, 'etiquettes bleue', and by 1884 the factory employed a dozen workers.
When their father retired in 1892 the brothers began to create moving pictures. They patented several significant processes leading up to their film camera, most notably film perforations (originally implemented by Emile Reynaud) as a means of advancing the film through the camera and projector. The original cinématographe had been patented by Léon Guillaume Bouly on 12 February 1892. The brothers patented their own version on 13 February 1895. The first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on 19 March 1895. This first film shows workers leaving the Lumière factory.
The Lumière brothers saw film as a novelty and had withdrawn from the film business in 1905. They went on to develop the first practical photographic colour process, the Lumière Autochrome.
Louis died on 6 June 1948 and Auguste on 10 April 1954. They are buried in a family tomb in the New Guillotière Cemetery in Lyon.
The Lumières held their first private screening of projected motion pictures in 1895. This first screening on 22 March 1895 took place in Paris, at the "Society for the Development of the National Industry", in front of an audience of 200 people – among which Léon Gaumont, then director of the company the Comptoir géneral de la photographie. The main focus of this conference by Louis Lumière were the recent developments in the photograph industry, mainly the research on polychromy (colour photography). It was much to Lumière's surprise that the moving black-and-white images retained more attention than the coloured stills photographs. The American Woodville Latham had screened works of film 2 months later on 20 May 1895. The first public screening of films at which admission was charged was a program by the Skladanowsky brothers that was held on 1 November 1895, in Berlin.
The Lumières gave their first paid public screening on 28 December 1895, at Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris. This history-making presentation featured 10 short films, including their first film, Sortie des Usines Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory).
Each film is 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, runs approximately 50 seconds.
It is believed their first film was recorded that same year (1895) with Léon Bouly's cinématographe device, which was patented the previous year. The date of the recording of their first film is in dispute. In an interview with Georges Sadoul given in 1948, Louis Lumière tells that he shot the film in August 1894. This is questioned by historians (Sadoul, Pinel, Chardère) who consider that a functional Lumière camera didn't exist before the end of 1894, and that their first film was recorded 19 March 1895, and then publicly projected 22 March at the Société d'encouragement pour l'industrie nationale in Paris. The cinématographe — a three-in-one device that could record, develop, and project motion pictures — was further developed by the Lumières.
The public debut at the Grand Café came a few months later and consisted of the following 10 short films (in order of presentation):
The Lumières went on tour with the cinématographe in 1896, visiting Brussels (the first place a film was played outside Paris on the Galleries Saint-Hubert on 1 March 1896), Bombay, London, Montreal, New York City and Buenos Aires.
In 1896, only a few months after the initial screenings in Europe, films by the Lumiere Brothers were shown in Egypt, first in the Tousson stock exchange in Alexandria on 5 November 1896 and then in the Hamam Schneider (Schneider Bath) in Cairo.
The moving images had an immediate and significant influence on popular culture with L'Arrivée d'un Train en Gare de la Ciotat (literally, "the arrival of a train at La Ciotat", but more commonly known as Arrival of a Train at a Station) and Carmaux, défournage du coke (Drawing out the coke). Their actuality films, or actualités, are often cited as the first, primitive documentaries. They also made the first steps towards comedy film with the slapstick of L'Arroseur Arrosé.
The brothers stated that "the cinema is an invention without any future" and declined to sell their camera to other filmmakers such as Georges Méliès. This made many film makers upset. Consequently, their role in the history of film was exceedingly brief. In parallel with their cinema work they experimented with colour photography. They worked on a number of colour photographic processes in the 1890s including the Lippmann process (interference heliochromy) and their own 'bichromated glue' process, a subtractive colour process, examples of which were exhibited at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900. This last process was commercialised by the Lumieres but commercial success had to wait for their next colour process. In 1903 they patented a colour photographic process, the Autochrome Lumière, which was launched on the market in 1907. Throughout much of the 20th century, the Lumière company was a major producer of photographic products in Europe, but the brand name, Lumière, disappeared from the marketplace following merger with Ilford. They also invented the colour plate, which really got photography on the road.
The Lumière Brothers were not the only ones to claim the title of the first cinematographers. The scientific chronophotography devices developed by Eadweard Muybridge, Étienne-Jules Marey and Ottomar Anschütz in the 1880s were able to produce moving photographs, and William Friese-Greene's "machine camera", patented in 1889, did so on a strip of film. Thomas Edison's Kinetoscope (developed by William Kennedy Dickson), premiered publicly in 1894.
Since 1892, the projected drawings of Émile Reynaud's Théâtre Optique were attracting Paris crowds to the Musée Grévin. Louis Le Prince and Claude Mechant had been shooting moving picture sequences on paper film as soon as 1888, but had never performed a public demonstration. Polish inventor, Kazimierz Prószyński had built his camera and projecting device, called Pleograph, in 1894. Max and Emil Skladanowsky, inventors of the Bioscop, had offered projected moving images to a paying public one month earlier (1 November 1895, in Berlin). Nevertheless, film historians consider the Grand Café screening to be the true birth of the cinema as a commercial medium, because the Skladanowsky brothers' screening used an extremely impractical dual system motion picture projector that was immediately supplanted by the Lumiere cinematographe.
Although the Lumière brothers were not the first inventors to develop techniques to create motion pictures, they are often credited as among the first inventors of the technology for cinema as a mass medium, and are among the first who understood how to use it.
Louis Lumière, 83, wealthy motion-picture and colour-photography pioneer, whom (with his brother Auguste) Europeans generally credit with inventing the cinema; of a heart ailment; in Bandol, France.
775 Lumière is a minor planet orbiting the Sun. The apparent magnitude is 10.40. The diameter is 33.58 kilometers. Its rotational period is 6.103 hours, and the albedo is .108. The name honors Auguste and Louis Lumiere and the company making photographic film for astronomers in France.Barque sortant du port
Barque sortant du port (also known as Boat Leaving the Port) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent film directed and produced by Louis Lumière.
The film consists of a single shot of a boat leaving the port, being rowed into rough seas by three men. This scene is observed by two women and children who are standing on a nearby jetty.Bataille de boules de neige
Bataille de boules de neige (also known as Snowball Fight) is an 1896 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière.Carmaux, défournage du coke
Carmaux, défournage du coke (translated as Drawing Out the coke) is a film made in 1896 by Lumière. The location was the Saut-du-Tarn Steel Works at Carmaux, France near the Tarn River in southern France. It is a one-minute sequence of men lifting a large coal block out of a smelter. One man is spraying water to cool the block while others use rakes to spread it out. Others can be seen pushing coal carts along a track.Cinematograph
A cinematograph is a motion picture film camera, which also serves as a film projector and printer. It was invented in the 1890s in Lyon by Auguste and Louis Lumière.Démolition d'un mur
Démolition d'un mur (Demolition of a wall) is a 1895 French short black-and-white silent film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring his brother Auguste Lumière, along with two other men.Institut Lumière
The Institut Lumière (pronounced [ɛ̃s.ti.ty ly.mjɛːʁ]; "Lumière Institute") is a French organisation, based in Lyon, for the promotion and preservation of aspects of French film making. The Institut Lumière is a museum that honours the contribution to filmmaking by Auguste and Louis Lumière - inventors of the cinématographe and fathers of the cinema.
It was founded in 1982 by Bernard Chardère and Maurice Trarieux-Lumière, the grandson of Louis Lumière. Bertrand Tavernier is its president and Thierry Frémaux is its director. The museum is located within the house of the Lumière family, in the Monplaisir quarter of Lyon. The film La Sortie de l'usine Lumière à Lyon, one of the earliest motion pictures ever made, was shot in the immediate vicinity of the Institut.
The rehabilitation of the former Lumière factories was confided to the architect Pierre Colboc and the Chief architect of historic monuments Didier Repellin, associated with the agency dUCKS Scéno for the scenography of the cinema and the outer spaces.La Mer (film)
La Mer (also known as The Sea) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet.
The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on December 28, 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.La Pêche aux poissons rouges
Pêche aux poissons rouges is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. It was filmed in Lyon, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France. Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet.
The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on 28 December 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.La Voltige
La Voltige (also known as Horse Trick Riders) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. It was filmed in Lyon, Rhône, Rhône-Alpes, France. Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet.
The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on December 28, 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.Le Saut à la couverture
Le Saut à la couverture (also known as Brimade dans une caserne) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière.
The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on 28 December 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.Les Forgerons
Les Forgerons (also known as The Blacksmiths) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière. Given its age, this short film is available to freely download from the Internet.
The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on 28 December 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capuchins, Paris.Louis Lumière / conversation avec Langlois et Renoir
Louis Lumière is a 66 minute filmed conversation between Henri Langlois, founder and director of La Cinémathèque Française, and the film director Jean Renoir. It was directed by Éric Rohmer in 1968.Lumière Film Festival
The Lumière Film Festival is an annual film festival held each October in Lyon Metropolis, France since 2009. The festival is named in honor of the Lumière Brothers, who invented the Cinematography in Lyon in 1895, and is organized by the Institut Lumière.
The festival focuses on the history of cinema with the line-up dedicated to the works of the past through restored prints, retrospectives and tributes. The Lumière Award (Prix Lumière), an award that recognizes the achievement and contributions of an international film personality, is also presented annually at the festival.Partie de cartes
Partie de cartes (also known as Card Game and The Messers. Lumière at Cards (USA), or A Quiet Game of Écarté) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring Antoine Féraud.Place des Cordeliers à Lyon
Place des Cordeliers à Lyon (also known as Cordeliers' Square in Lyon) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière.
Procession at Seville and bullfighting Scenes is a non-fiction short film created by Auguste and Louis Lumière between 1898 and 1899. The Lumière brothers used a cinematograph to film this motion picture in Seville, Spain.Repas de bébé
Le Repas de Bébé (also known as Baby's Dinner and Feeding the Baby) is an 1895 French short black-and-white silent documentary film directed and produced by Louis Lumière and starring Andrée Lumière.
The film formed part of the first commercial presentation of the Lumière Cinématographe on December 28, 1895 at the Salon Indien, Grand Café, 14 Boulevard des Capucines, Paris.Serpentine dance
The serpentine dance is a form of dance that was popular throughout the United States and Europe in the 1890s, becoming a staple of stage shows and early film.
Auguste and Louis Lumière