His original profession was surveyor but he started to work in photography upon his arrival in Buenos Aires.
Many of his photographs do not have his signature but are attributed to him as they are stamped with his studio's seal "25 de Mayo 25". Gonnet was editor of the first photo album using the new negative system in Argentina.
In 1864 his images served to make lithographs and be published in local newspapers. They showed rural life and customs showing natives and locals. Even though he did urban photography, he is mostly known for his documentary photography on rural life.
In most of his photography he tried to convey the typical image of the creole, stereotyping Argentine customs, and using objects as symbols that would create iconic images of the era, which were then sold abroad where photography of travels to far away places where gaining in popularity.
He produced and edited the "Recuerdos de Buenos Aires" photography book ("Remembrances of Buenos Aires") in 1864.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Esteban Gonnet.|
- (Spanish) Abel Alexander y Luis Priamo. “Dos pioneros del documentalismo fotográfico”[dead link]
- (Spanish) Fabian Lebenglik. “Buenos Aires. Vida Cotidiana en el siglo XIX”
- (Spanish) Luis Priamo. “La fotografía italiana en la Argentina. Siglos XVIII / XIX. Benito Panunzi”
- (Spanish) Entrevista a Luis Priamo. “Detrás del polvo de las fotografías”
- (Spanish) Clarín-Proyectos Especiales. “La Fotografía en la Historia Argentina”. Volume I. Various authors. Clarín-AGEA. first edition. Buenos Aires. 2005.