Henri Le Secq


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(1818–82), French architectural photographer. The son of a politician, he studied art in the studio of Paul Delaroche in the early 1840s. Encouraged by fellow pupil Gustave Le Gray, he turned to photography, initially as an aid to painting. But his enthusiasm for his native Paris and its buildings led him to build a reputation as an architectural photographer. In 1851 he became a founder member of the Société Héliographique. That year, he was also invited to join the official Mission Héliographique to create a visual record of potentially threatened historic buildings. Le Secq's brief included, in addition to a number of ecclesiastical sites in the Paris area, the cathedrals of Chartres, Strasbourg, and Rheims. His practice was to produce salted-paper prints from waxed-paper negatives, and his oeuvre encompassed still-life and landscape studies as well as architectural work. At the end of the 1850s, when paper negatives were being superseded by glass, he largely withdrew from photography, concentrating on his painting and antiquarian interests.

From The Oxford Companion to the Photograph in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Photography and Photographs.

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