The 20 frontal and profile portraits of
ten Algerian soldiers who visited Paris in 1863 were taken by Philippe-Jacques Potteau as
part of his larger anthropological project for the Muséum national d'histoire naturelle,
known as the Collection anthropologique du Muséum de Paris (1855-1869). Seven pairs of
photographs are of soldiers from the 3rd Regiment of Algerian Tirailleurs, an infantry
corps, and three pairs depict soldiers from the 2nd and 3rd Regiments of Algerian Spahis, or
light cavalry units.
Jacques-Philippe Potteau was a member of the anthropology department of the Muséum
d'histoire naturelle, Paris. Between 1860 and 1869 he made a series of ethnographic
portraits for the museum under the collective title Collection anthropologique du Muséum de
Paris. In 1862 Potteau succeeded Louis Rousseau as the departmental photographer. Potteau
never accompanied scientific expeditions, but rather organized sittings for members of
official groups visiting Paris and other persons in his own studio. His subjects were
largely diplomatic delegates or soldiers, and, less frequently, musicians, domestic servants
and members of the lower social ranks. Potteau showed his work at the London Photography
Exhibit in 1862 and 1863, and at the 1863 Paris International Photography Exhibit.
1.33 Linear Feet
(20 photographs in 1 box)
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