Pierre Petit is not to be confused with (Jean) Pierre Yves-Petit (1886-1969), another French photographer who usually operated under the name Yvon.
Petit learned photography in Paris in the workshop of André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (1819–1889) (together with 76 other employees). In 1858, he opened his own workshop in Paris with Antoine René Trinquart, later to be called La Photographie des Deux Mondes. This proved to be very successful and workshops were opened in Baden-Baden and Marseille (in partnership with Emile Cazalis).
In his lifetime he made thousands of photographs. In 1908 he handed over the business to his son.
Some highlights in Petit's career:
- He was the official photographer of the International Exposition of 1867.
- He went to New York several times to report on the construction of the Statue of Liberty.
- Petit made many photographs of the Siege of Paris (1870–71).
- In 1898, he was the first photographer to attempt underwater photography.
- He exhibited many times at the Société française de photographie (SFP).
- Galerie des hommes de jour, a series of photographs of famous French people of the day, published in 1861
- l’Episcopat français, clergé de Paris, a series of photographs of the clergy of Paris
Museums that hold large collections of his photographs:
- Musée Nicéphore-Niépce in Chalon-sur-Saône
- Musée d'Orsay in Paris
- National Library of France in Paris
- National Portrait Gallery, London
- The Musée Nicéphore-Niépce website
- Pierre Petit on the Luminous Lint website
- Pierre Petit on the Getty Research Institute website
- Pierre Petit on the J. Paul Getty Museum website
Websites showing photographs by Pierre Petit
- Gallica, the BNF website
- The Past to Present website
- Pierre Petit on Flickr (from The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography)
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