Pierre Emile Joseph Pécarrère, ‘Cathedrale de Bourges’, 1851/1851c, Contemporary Works/Vintage Works

An exceptional print for PÉCARRÈRE.

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 Em. 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.

Signature: Photographer's Pec signature and "Bourges 16" reversed out of negative at lower right.

Old collection of Marguerite Mithau; Andre Jammes; French book dealer.

About Pierre Emile Joseph Pécarrère