Life and career
He entered the French diplomatic service in 1823 and was given the title of baron in 1829 during the Bourbon Restoration. He was despatched to Bogotá (1838–1842) as chargé d'affaires during the Colombian Civil War, and later elsewhere in Latin America, before being recalled to Europe and then sent as Minister Plenipotentiary to Athens in 1850.
He served as Ambassador to London (1852–1863), travelling extensively, including to China and Japan in 1857 and 1858. He was minister-in-command of French troops during the Anglo-French expedition to China (1856-1860). On 9 October 1858, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between France and Japan was concluded at Edo, to which he was a signatory; this treaty established diplomatic relations between the two imperial nations.
He produced many famous photographs — chief among them those of the Acropolis in Greece. While he is best known for his daguerrotypes, he painted a few Latin American landscape paintings which are quite striking for their realism. Baron Gros, a member of The Photographic Society, also photographed The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.
- Dr Christian Polak: Soie et lumières: L'âge d'or des échanges franco-japonais (des origines aux années 1950). Tokyo: Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Française du Japon Hachette, (2001); 絹と光: 知られざる日仏交流100年の歴史 (江戶時代-1950年代) Kinu to hikariō: shirarezaru Nichi-Futsu kōryū 100-nen no rekishi (Edo jidai-1950-nendai). Tokyo: Ashetto Fujin Gahōsha (2002)
Media related to Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros at Wikimedia Commons