Esteban Gonnet

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Esteban Gonnet
Born 1829
Died 1868
Nationality French
Occupation Photographer

Esteban Gonnet (Victor Etienne Gonnet) (September 3 1829 – March 30 1868) Was a photographer born in Grenoble France and emigrate to Buenos Aires, Argentina, from New Castle England, in 1857, aboard the ship "Primer Argentino". His brother, Louis Gonnet, that works on a printing house, he already resides in Argentina and was the father of Manuel B. Gonnet.

He was long distance officer of the French Navy, enter as a candidate in Toulon, France inn 1845. In October 1855 he fullfiled a Mercantile Marine master in the council of trade in the city of Dundee, Scotland. He became a photographer when he arrived to Buenos Aires. He was a surveyor and could work with his cousin Hippolyte Gaillard, a surveyor, that also resides in Buenos Aires.

He died on March 30 1868 in the city of Buenos Aires a result of an aneurysm, being a witness the french sculptor Elias Duteil.

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.

External links[edit]


  • (Spanish) Clarín-Proyectos Especiales. “La Fotografía en la Historia Argentina”. Volume I. Various authors. Clarín-AGEA. first edition. Buenos Aires. 2005.