Henri Le Secq

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Henri Le Secq
Henri Le Secq portrait.jpg
Portrait of Henri Le Secq by Gustave Le Gray
Born (1818-08-18)18 August 1818
Paris
Died 26 December 1882(1882-12-26) (aged 64)
Paris
Occupation Photographer

Henri Jean-Louis Le Secq (18 August 1818 –26 December 1882) was a French painter and photographer. After the French government made the daguerreotype open for public in 1851, Le Secq was one of the five photographers selected to carry out a photographic survey of architecture (Commission des Monuments Historiques).[1]

Early life[edit]

Henri Le Secq was born in 1818 in Paris and was a son of a politician. He was trained in sculpture and worked in several studios. He was also a collector of wrought iron objects and the Musée le Secq des Tournelles in Rouen is devoted to him.[2] He later started his photographic career under Paul Delaroche.[3]

Middle years[edit]

He experimented with various photograph processing techniques together with his colleague Charles Nègre and later worked with Gustave Le Gray learning the waxed-paper negative process. This process had the advantage that it produced negatives unlike the daguerreotype process. He, along with Hippolyte Bayard, Edouard Baldus, Gustave Le Gray and O Mestral, was sent on Missions Héliographiques to document famous architectural monuments in France. He worked mainly on cathedrals in Chartres, Strasbourg, Reims and near Paris. Cameras capable of taking large photographs, size of 51 cm by 74 cm, were used. His works during this Commission des Monuments Historiques are considered to be his finest works.[4] In 1851 he became one of the founders of the first photographic organization of the world, unfortunately very short lived, Société héliographique (1851–1853).[5]

Large figures on the North porch, Chartres Cathedral[6]

Later years[edit]

He gave up photography after 1856 but continued to paint and collect art. Around 1870 he started reprinting his famous works as cyanotypes as he was afraid of possible loss due to fading. He gave the reprints dates of the original negatives, some of which are still in good condition.[7]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "History of photography by Robert Laggat". Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  2. ^ "Musées de la ville de Rouen". Archived from the original on 2007-03-17. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  3. ^ "Biography at eastman.org". Archived from the original on 2006-12-07. Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  4. ^ "Luminous-Lint". Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  5. ^ "Getty Museum". Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  6. ^ "The Metropolitan Museum of Art". Retrieved 2007-03-22. 
  7. ^ Ware, Mike. Cyanotype : The history, science and art of photographic printing in Prussian blue. ISBN 1-900747-07-3. 

References[edit]

  • Janis, Eugenia Parry, and Josianne Sartre. Henri Le Secq; Photographe de 1850 a 1860. Catalogue Raisonné de la Collection de la Bibliothèque des Arts Decoratifs, Paris 1986 ISBN 2-08-012056-5
  • Chartres & Prose Poems. With photographs by Henri Le Secq. NY: The Eakins Press, 1970
  • Antic de Mondenard, La Mission heliographique, Cinq photographes parcourent la France en 1851, published by Monum, editions du patrimoine, France, 2002
  • Shelly, Rice (1999). Parisian views. MIT Press. p. 288. ISBN 0-262-68107-2. 

External links[edit]