Pierre Emile Joseph Pécarrère Porte de Préfecture a Cathédrale de Bourges
Medium Salt print from paper negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1851 Print Date 1851c
Dimensions 10 x 7-7/8 in. (254 x 200 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Photographer's Pec signature and "Bourges 16" reversed out of negative at lower left. An exceptional print for PÉCARRÈRE.
Provenance: old collection of Marguerite Mithau; Andre Jammes; French book dealer.
One of the finest photographers of the early 1850s remains a mysterious figure. More than one hundred of his salted paper prints survive, many signed in the negative "Em. Pec," a name that is not found in any early photographic journals, records of photographic societies, or exhibition catalogues.
It seems likely that this photographer was Emile Peccarère (inconsistently spelled Peccarrère, Pecarrère, Pecarère, and Pecarer), a lawyer who learned photography from Gustave Le Gray and was among the founding members of the Société Héliographique. The confusion over his identity is compounded by the fact that fifty photographs, many with titles that correspond in subject to Pec's surviving signed works, were shown at the Society of Arts in London in 1852, listed in the exhibition catalogue as the work of "Pecquerel." One can only surmise that this was a misunderstanding of the name "Peccarère" by the exhibition's British organizers, who saw photographs signed "Pec" but were more familiar with the French scientist and daguerreotypist Edmond Becquerel, also a member of the Société Héliographique.
Pec photographed throughout France and Italy in the first years of the 1850s.
Bourges Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in Bourges, France. The cathedral is dedicated to Saint Stephen and is the seat of the Archbishop of Bourges.
Generally the cathedral suffered far less than some of its peers during the French Wars of Religion and in the Revolution. Its location meant it was also relatively safe from the ravages of both World Wars. The cathedral was added to the list of the World Heritage Sites by UNESCO in 1992.
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