The Info List - Louis Rousselet

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Louis-Théophile Marie Rousselet (1845-1929) was a French traveller, writer, photographer and pioneer of the darkroom. His photographic work now commands high prices. Many of his drawings and photographs were made into engravings by others.[1]


1 Life 2 Travels in India 3 After India 4 Death 5 Honours 6 Works 7 Collection 8 Expositions 9 Gallery of photographs 10 Gallery of works after Rousselet 11 References 12 Notes 13 External links

Life[edit] The son of a wealthy Freight forwarder, an only child; he was educated in Paris and Heidelberg.[2] He made ethnological and archaeological explorations in India
and the Himalayas, He travelled to Morocco, and was a Secretary of the Society of Anthropology of Paris. His travels have inspired several books. He made various archaeologigal expedditions in the southern French department of Pyrénées-Orientales. Travels in India[edit]

Portrait of Louís Rousselet dressed as an Indian native. 1867

Crushing by Elephant, an execution depicted in Rousselet's "Le Tour du Monde", 1868.

He was in India
from 1864 to 1868[3] He spent much time in central India
(Alwar, Baroda, Bhopal, Gwalior, Udaipur
and several other cities in Rajasthan). Roussellet wrote: "On 20 June 1863[4] I embarked at Marseilles on board the "Vectis", an English steamer bound for the East", he stopped off in Malta, Cairo and Aden, before boarding the "Malta" taking the Suez Canal to Bombay and India,[5] "I intended to mainly visit all the northern region, which includes, besides the English Presidency of Bengal, the feudal states of Rajasthan, the Bundelcund, the Goundwana, The Punjab and the Kingdom of Nepal".[6] He arrived at Bombay on 8 July 1863.[7] While in Bombay he met "Jules Henri Jean Schaumburg" (1839-1886) a Belgian, who was to be his travelling companion from May 1865 - Sept 1868. Schaumburg was later appointed as an artist to The Geological Survey of India
in Calcutta.[8] His intention was for a 6-month trip but he stayed 4 years. He was only the second photographer (after Samuel Bourne) to do so. Both men's photographs were extensively made into etchings without attribution in many cases worldwide. On arrival in India
he decided to learn photography (October 1865)[9] in order to supplement his diaries. after visiting the ruins at Dabhoi, he realized that his pencil sketches were not doing justice to the beauty of the elaborate architecture and carving. He was to write, "It was on seeing these generally unknown masterpieces at Dubbhoee that I regretted I had not the power of reproducing them by photography, and felt that it would be impossible to continue my explorations profitably without the assistance of that art. As soon, therefore, as I returned to Baroda, I applied myself seriously to learn photography; and with that view I procured from Bombay all the necessary apparatus".[10] He took more than 600 photographs. On his return to France he published excerpts from his Indian diary along with woodcut illustrations taken mostly from his sketches and photographs in a French weekly Journal "Le Tour du Monde". Many of the engravings were by Émile Thérond.

Louís Rousselet with Jules Henri Jean Schaumburg. 1867

He visited the "Bir Singh Dev Palace and it's lake Datia (Lala ka Taal) (1867). When in Bhopal
in 1867, the two companions were presented with Sirdar costumes: “The glittering costumes ordered by the Queen consisted of long tunics of green silk gauze embossed with gold; vast petticoat pantaloons of crimson satin embroidered with silver, kumerbunds, or cashmere belts, of violet and gold, cloaks of deep scarlet-coloured cashmere embroidered with gold and silver, and to crown all, toque diadems in fine gold.” He first visited Banaras (Kashi) in Uttar Pradesh
Uttar Pradesh
and Delhi in 1868. Rousselet then left India
for the last time: “...and on the 1st September 1868, I went on board the "Labourdonnais" ... I had also to say good-bye to my good and faithful companion (Schaumburg), who was detained by fresh projects in the country. My old bearer Devi, the trusty servant who had followed me for two years through so many good and evil fortunes, was there also, melted in tears, and embracing my knees. At last the moment of parting arrived; the bell rang; I saw Schaumburg, and the old bearer pushing off in the boat, and waving me their last adieu.” After India[edit] On return to France, in 1868, he began to work with Goupil & Cie on a publishing project entitled "travel in India
ML Rousselet", composed of one hundred sixty photographic plates. This publication, was intended to be prestigious, rare and expensive. Unfortunately the project nearing completion, was abandoned as the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 broke out. Rousselet was then mobilized and Goupil workshops suffered significant damage. However Rousselets extraordinary set of high quality technical and aesthetic quality photographs remained.[11] In 1873 he became editor-in-chief of Hachette's "Le Journal de la jeunesse" a weekly magazine aimed at educating and entertaining youths aged between 10 and 15, the advent of World War I put a stop to it.[12] He was also director of the new dictionary of universal geography (Hachette), an Academy Officer, and a member of the Society for the Advancement of Science The publication in 1875 by Hachette of his journal, The Rajahs of India
("L'Inde des Rajas"), a compilation of his notes, drawings and photographs, was a great success with a large audience. Rousselet was to remain faithful to Hachette thereafter and make a great career. In 1876 he got married in Paris, to Thérèse Trotignon, they would have four children born in 1877, 1878, 1881, and 1891. Rousselet's photographs are the most copied images published worldwide of 19th century India.[13] His photograph collection and travel book L'Inde des Rajahs: Voyage Dans l'Inde Centrale, dans les Presidences de Bombay et du Bengale (1875)[14] documented court life. Other photographs were of monuments and temples.[15] Death[edit] Died at Vineuil, buried at Bourré, Loir-et-Cher, in France. Honours[edit] Légion d'Honneur
Légion d'Honneur
(Chevalier) Palmes Académiques Works[edit]

L'Inde des Rajas: voyage dans l'Inde centrale et dans les présidences de Bombay et du Bengale (1875) India
and its Native Princes, éditions Chapman & Hall, 1876 Les royaumes de l'Inde (1879)

+ " The Son of the Constable of France or the Adventures of Jean de Bourbon" (1882)

Nouveau dictionnaire de géographie universelle, with Vivien de Saint-Martin Au vieux pays de France (1906) Sur les confins du Maroc (1912) L'Inde: photographies de Louis Rousselet
Louis Rousselet
1865 - 1868, Musée Goupil, 1992


Musée d'Aquitaine, Bordeaux. The museum contains the archives (Musée Goupil) of Goupil & Cie, one of the greatest art dealers and publishers of the 19th century. The collection includes - The India photographs of Louis Rousselet
Louis Rousselet


1996, Musée des beaux-arts et d'archéologie, Libourne 1992, Musée d'Aquitaine

Gallery of photographs[edit]

Eiffel Tower under construction (1888)

Galerie des Machines de l'Exposition Universelle (1889)

File:Eglise de Plozévet (1899)

Gallery of works after Rousselet[edit]

Costumes of India

Costumes of India

Bas-relief on the left, under the gateway at Karli

Hindoo Jeweller

Golconda 1878

Palace of Feroze, Plains of Delhi

Sarkhej Roza
Sarkhej Roza
near Ahmedabad

Workers assembling the Eiffel Tower 1889


L'Inde: photographies de Louis Rousselet
Louis Rousselet
1865 - 1868. Musée Goupil - Bordeaux, Bordeaux. (1992)


^ [1], [2] ^ "Rousselet family". gw.geneanet.org. Geneanet. Retrieved 7 October 2017.  ^ The Tribune - Windows - Slice of history ^ Rousselet, Louis (1877). L’Inde des Rajahs. Librairie Hachette et cie, Paris. p. 1.  ^ Rousselet, Louis. India
and Its Native Princes. p. 1.  ^ Rousselet, Louis. "Intentions for the Indian expedition". quaritch.com. Retrieved 7 October 2017.  ^ Librairie Hachette et cie, Paris. 1877. p. 3.  ^ Murphy, Sylvia. "Jules Henri Jean Schaumburg". quivis.uk. Retrieved 10 October 2017.  ^ Rousselet, Lous (1877). L’Inde des Rajahs. Librairie Hachette et cie, Paris. p. 141.  access-date= requires url= (help) ^ (Rousselet, Louis (1869). India
and its Native Princes. Goupil. p. 122.  ^ "Abandoned project". musee-aquitaine-bordeaux.fr. Retrieved 7 October 2017.  ^ "Le Journal de la jeunesse". data.bnf.fr. Hachette. Retrieved 9 October 2017.  ^ Gutschow, Niels (2006). Visualizing Space in Banaras: Images, Maps, and the Practice of Representation. Otto Harrossowitz Verlag Wiesbaden. pp. 191, 218–220. ISBN 3-447-05187-6. Retrieved 18 January 2017.  ^ In English, India
and Its Native Princes, 1875, English edition 1876, revised by Buckle. ^ [3], in French. ^ "Exhibition catalog - India
photographs of Louis Rousselet
Louis Rousselet
in 1865 ~ 1868". musee-aquitaine-bordeaux.fr. Retrieved 7 October 2017. 

External links[edit]

Works by Louis Rousselet
Louis Rousselet
at Project Gutenberg Works by or about Louis Rousselet
Louis Rousselet
at Internet Archive

v t e

19th-century French photographers

Antoine Samuel Adam-Salomon Olympe Aguado Édouard Baldus Arthur Batut Hippolyte Bayard Auguste Belloc Auguste-Rosalie Bisson Louis-Auguste Bisson Louis Désiré Blanquart-Evrard Félix Bonfils Bruno Braquehais Adolphe Braun Étienne Carjat Antoine Claudet Auguste Hippolyte Collard Louis Daguerre André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri Maxime Du Camp Louis Arthur Ducos du Hauron Jean Louis Marie Eugène Durieu Joseph-Philibert Girault de Prangey Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros Gustave Le Gray Henri Le Secq Gabriel Lippmann Étienne-Jules Marey Charles Marville Séraphin-Médéric Mieusement Félix-Jacques Moulin Nadar Charles Nègre Nicéphore Niépce Pierre Petit Alphonse Louis Poitevin Louis Rousselet Camille Silvy Eugène Trutat Julien Vallou de Villeneuve

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 64099507 LCCN: n90668836 ISNI: 0000 0001 1067 5915 GND: 116665203 SUDOC: 033579881 BNF: cb12443310t (data) NLA: 35140781 SNAC: w6