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Today’s photographer will be the last taken from Monday’s post on Charles Nègre. Next week I will start afresh, and apply the same tactics. Also – if there are any artists or photographers you’d like me to feature in a blog post – just comment on this post or send me a message via the contact page.

Henri Jean-Louis Le Secq was born on the 18th of August 1818 in Paris as the son of a politician. He was trained in sculpture and worked in several studios. He later started his photographic career under Paul Delaroche.

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. […]

After the French government made the daguerreotype open for public in 1851, Le Seqc, 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.

In 1851 he became one of the founders of the first photographic organization of the world, unfortunately very short lived, Société héliographique (1851–1853).

He gave up photography after 1856 but continued to paint and collect art. He was especially fond of wrought iron objects and the Musée le Secq des Tournelles in Rouen is devoted to him. 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.

My favourite images:

 

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