Alphonse Bertillon


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Alphonse Bertillon
Birthday
BirthplaceParis, France
Died
Occupation
law enforcement officer and biometrics researcher

Bertillon, Alphonse

 

Born Apr. 22,1853, inParis; died there on Feb. 3, 1914. French criminologist who devised several police methods for solving criminal cases.

Bertillon was the head of the bureau of forensic identification of the Paris prefecture. The system of methods devised by Bertillon for forensic identification (establishing identity) is called Bertillonage in bourgeois criminology. The system included anthropometry, a verbal portrait, descriptive photography (a technical means of portrait photography in which a person’s distinctive features are highlighted very clearly), and a description of a person’s distinctive marks. Beginning in 1890 and until the early 20th century, Bertillonage was used by the police of all countries, but later it was gradually replaced by a new system of criminal registration, fingerprinting. Bertillon appeared in the legal proceedings of the Dreyfus affair as a legal handwriting expert and gave false testimony that ascribed the authorship of a document—the bordereau—to Dreyfus.

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Las fotografias de Alphonse Bertillon, su circulacion en la prensa, las portadas de las revistas que plasman los instantes del terror, o las ilustraciones fotogenicas, presuponen, todas, una relacion viciada con la realidad y el valor documental e informativo de las imagenes.
Para Brusatin, este metodo se relaciona con el analisis de la semejanza, concepto que definio como el procedimiento para reconocer un rostro en relacion a un modelo cultural bueno o malo: "Se trata de un primer acercamiento a la teoria de la imagen que, por ejemplo, la fotografia judiciaria de Alphonse Bertillon intenta acompanar a las medidas antropometricas, poniendola a prueba de manera irrefutable con las huellas digitales, que llegan a ser la fotografia o la impresion negativa sobre la que puede fundarse una caza de la identidad" (11).
Alphonse Bertillon 1879-1889 (this unpublished volume was placed by Bertillon in the Archives de la Prefecture de Police de Paris).
The best thing in "I & A" is a cabinet of photographs of arrestees at a Paris police station, made by Alphonse Bertillon in 1890, which proves conclusively that nonart made at the behest of bad science (in this case, the visual study of "criminal types") is much more powerful as ironic post-Modern art than .
The name of Rodolphe Reiss has been overshowed by his higher-profile contemporaries --Edmond Locard, Alphonse Bertillon, Hans Gross, to name a few--but his many contributions should secure him a place of merit in the history of forensic science [2].