Previously unknown views of Mexico, 1862-1867

The Aztec calendar

The Aztec calendar

In our previous post, we were able to attribute to Louis Edouard Roussel, a French soldier, eight photographic prints dated from 1863. Those prints were previously in the collection of Lieutenant Antoine Le Begue de Germiny, who served as a chief of staff officer in Mexico from early 1864 to early 1867. We bought, from the same provenance, a stunning album of over thirty albumen prints, in near perfect condition. Most of the images were previously unknown. They are obviously the work of a French soldier but more importantly of a skilled and talented photographer.

View of the Zocalo, Mexico city

View of the Zocalo, Mexico City

Palazzo de la MIneria, Mexico City

Palacio de la Minería, Mexico City

Palacio nacional, Mexico city

Palacio Nacional, Mexico City

Castle and park of Chapultepec

Castle and park of Chapultepec

Detail : soldier on the bridge in the park of Chapultepec

Detail : soldier on the bridge in the park of Chapultepec

The headquarter of the French army in Mexico City.

The headquarters of the French army in Mexico City

The garden of the headquarter of the French army in Mexico City.

The garden of the headquarters of the French army in Mexico City

Cathedral and Zocalo of Puebla

Cathedral and Zocalo of Puebla

Street view of Queretaro

Street view of Querétaro

Palacio de San Luis Potosi

Palacio de San Luis Potosí

The following photographs seem to indicate that our soldier was more than a skilled photographer. His view of the castle of Chapultepec, barely visible behind the lake of the park, is oddly reminiscent of some Barbizon views from the same time. With little documentary value, it looks more like an artistic attempt, a “délassement”.

We know, through the archives of the Commission Scientifique du Mexique, of two more officers who were asked to practice photography in Mexico. A lieutenant Riffault and a lieutenant Laure Henri Gaston Galard de Bearn. Both could be the author of these photographs.

The jury is still out, but we will keep you posted soon.

View of the castle of Chapultepec

View of the castle of Chapultepec

The park of Tehuantepec

The park of Tehuantepec

An antique shop set up for Good Friday

An antique shop set up for Good Friday

 

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2 thoughts on “Previously unknown views of Mexico, 1862-1867

  1. Rafael R. Fierro

    My dear Gregory Leroy,
    I sent this yesterday, and am sending it anew.
    I have just discovered your blog and have hastily subscribed!
    Someone reading my blog (“Grandes casas de Mexico”) advised I see the picture you published in your February 2016 entry “Previously unknown views of Mexico, 1862-1867” as “The headquarters of the French army in Mexico City”: an absolutely wonderful picture of a very important and often misplaced Villa by architect De la Hidalga.
    You can find the entry I wrote last week at: https://grandescasasdemexico.blogspot.mx/2016/05/villa-del-arquitecto-de-la-hidalga-en.html , where the corresponding picture is the forty fifth.
    In your picture –which must date from the very beginning of the French intervention–, I love the fact that the (Cortina / Bazaine) house´s veranda has not been walled up, and you get to see a much larger portion of the De la Hidalga villa; and you can see the Aqueduct in the foreground!
    If I understand correctly, these pictures are for sale, but I wonder if you would be so kind as to authorize my use of it, adding the picture to my blog with the conforming credit…
    Rafael Fierro G.
    PS:
    The next picture, labeled “The garden of the headquarters of the French army in Mexico City” is the south façade of what we call Casa de Pinillos, and is now the “Museo de San Carlos”…
    ¡Saludos desde México!

    Reply

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