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While color photography existed before the 20th century, the Lumière brothers patented the process in 1903 and developed the first colour film in 1907. The autochrome was by far the most commercially successful system but there were others, including the Paget color plate system.
Bridgeman is proud to present color photographs of this tumultuous time in our history, captured by photographers including Australian war photographer Frank Hurley (1885-1962) and Fernand Cuville (1887–1927), who served in the French Army. During the First World War the French army regularly used color photograpy to document their experiences. Catch a rare glimpse of soldiers in the trenches, civilians, aircraft and destroyed buildings.
Impressionistic visions of war
Perhaps most remarkable are the soft and impressionistic visions of war by Fernand Cuville. Recording life in the French army, and the destruction of town and village life caused by German shelling, the autochromes have an artistic quality that distances it from the horrific realities of war. See all our World War One autochromes