Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Recuerdos del Perú, between 1863 and 1871
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography/History
  • Scope and Content
  • Indexing Terms
  • Related Material

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Recuerdos del Perú
    Date (inclusive): between 1863 and 1871


    Possible range of dates based on date of establishment of Courret's studio in Lima and completion date of the Palacio de la Exposición as pictured in one of the photographs.
    Collection number: 94/325
    Creator: Courret, Eugenio, b. 1841, photographer.
    Physical Description: 1 album (87 photographic prints) : albumen, 34 x 47 cm (album)

    Views of Lima (19 x 24.7 cm or slightly smaller) are mounted on rectos of 25 leaves of stiff white cardboard, one to a page, within a printed light brown border; large (14 x 9.7 cm) and small (8.7 x 5.3 cm) portrait photographs (images both rectangular and oval) are mounted on rectos of 25 alternating leaves, two or four to a page, each one mounted within a printed geometric olive brown border; none of the photos has a caption or other identifying mark.

    Bound in green pebble-grain leather boards; black and gilt borders; large gilt floral corner-pieces; gold-stamped cover title "Recuerdos del Perú;" gold-stamped name of photographer's studio, "E. Courret Fot. Lima" and blind-stamped ornamental cartouche (for owner's name?) appear below title on upper cover; gilt rules on spine; white textured glossy endpapers; all edges gilt; lower corners on upper and lower covers are reinforced with brass edges.

    Spec. Coll. copy: in modern beige cloth clamshell box, with title "Recuerdos de Peru."
    Abstract: Photograph album, probably from 1871, containing 25 urban views of Lima, Peru, and 64 studio portraits of middle and upper class women of Lima by Eugenio Courret.
    Language: Finding aid is written in English.
    Language of the Material: Materials are in English.
    Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
    Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
    Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Administrative Information

    Restrictions on Access

    Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections for paging information.

    Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

    Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Recuerdos del Perú (Collection 94/325). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

    UCLA Catalog Record ID

    UCLA Catalog Record ID: 4233582 


    Nineteenth-century French photographer active in Peru. Courret moved to Lima in 1860, and initially, formed a partnership with the photographer, Eugenio Maunory. However, a few years later, in 1863, Eugenio and his brother Aquiles established their own studio, Fotografía Central, in the neo-roccoco Casa Courret located at 463 Calle Mercaderes in Lima. Courret went on to become the leading Peruvian portrait photographer of his time. His views of the buildings, streets, and citizens of Lima document life in that city during the second half of the 19th century.

    Scope and Content

    The album was most likely compiled for a tourist or visitor. As McElroy points out, "Prints of large format views were commonly mounted in albums for the visitor....Courret albums were titled Recuerdos del Perú (Memories of Peru), which was stamped in gold on the covers along with the name of the studio. This title seems to confirm that these pieces were made up with the intention of their leaving the country either as a traveler's souvenir or to be sent to relatives abroad" (p. 31). Perhaps this album belonged to a lady traveler, who may have wanted to add not only important views of the city to her album, but also the stylish portraits of the local ladies of society, dressed in their best, as a record of the fashions and hairstyles of the day. The wild popularity of the carte-de-visite portrait throughout the 1860s would have meant that the studios had large stocks of them on hand. Some of Courret's urban views are panoramas of Lima, often showing the Plaza de Armas, la Municipalidad, and the Cathedral from the tower of Santo Domingo, the rooftops of Lima in the foreground; the city water canal is visible in one of the panoramas, the bull ring, Plaza de Acho, in another, the Rimac River and San Cristóbal peak in a third. Courret's photographs document the many churches of Lima; this album includes photos of the Iglesia de San Pedro, a Jesuit church built in 1624, with twin bell towers; the Iglesia de San Agustín with its elaborate churrigueresque facade and statue of St. Augustine above the central entrance; Iglesia de la Merced, whose sculpted facade is adorned with twisted columns; the Monastery of San Francisco, recognized by its baroque carved portal and twin towers; and the leafy interior courtyard of the Monastery. The Iglesia de Santa María de la Caridad, no longer in existence, looms behind the statue of Bolívar in the Plaza de la Inquisición (later renamed Plaza de la Constitución). The statue of Cristóbal Colón, sheltering an Indian maiden with his cloak, stands in the Alameda del Acho. There are two photos of Calle Mercaderes, characterized by carved wooden balconies above, and a row of shop awnings below; in the distance at the end of the street, the arch of the Puente de Piedra can be seen, with its motto "Dios y la Patria." The final section of the album is devoted to the Parque de la Exposición, which contains the Palacio de la Exposición, completed in 1871 for the Gran Muestra de Artes, Ciencias e Industrias, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Peru's independence; gardens; the Glorieta Presidencial; and the ponds and small animal houses of the Zoológico. Alternating with the urban views are 25 leaves containing 62 portrait photos of "limeñas," most likely women of European descent. Typically between 20 and 40 years of age, they are dressed in rich elaborate gowns of satin and velvet, featuring draped panels and trains, and adorned with ribbons, pleats, sashes, and lace trim, and pose beside a velvet tufted chair or a carved piece of furniture, their hands resting on top, often clasping fans or lace handkerchiefs. Their hair is piled high on their heads, plaited in rolls, woven with ribbons, curled, or left long in ringlets. Some of the ladies wear lace caps, silk rosettes, satin bows, or flowers in their hair. Almost all of them wear a cameo, brooch, or cross attached to a ribbon choker at the neck, and drop earrings. One of the ladies may be a bride, wearing a long white veil.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    Palacio de Torre-Tagle (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Palacio de Gobierno (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Catedral de Lima --Photographs.
    Basílica de La Merced (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Plaza de Acho (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Jardín Botánico (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Parque de la Exposición (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Iglesia de San Agustín (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Iglesia de San Pedro (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Iglesia de Santa María de la Caridad (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
    Arches --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Balconies --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Facades --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Church buildings --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Plazas --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Gardens --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Fountains --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Zoos --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Bull rings --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Carriages and carts --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Women --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Women's clothing --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Hairstyles --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
    Lima (Peru) --Photographs.
    Lima (Peru) --Buildings, structures, etc. --Photographs.
    Rimac River (Peru) --Photographs.

    Genres and Forms of Material

    Photographic prints.
    Albumen prints.
    Portrait photographs.
    Photograph albums.

    Related Material

    Part of the Photograph Album Collection (Collection 94)   in UCLA Library Special Collections.
    For additional information on the Courret photographic studio in Lima, and images of some of the photos included in the album, see Early Peruvian photography: a critical case study / by Keith McElroy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI Research Press, c1985, especially p. 30-35, and figures 20-26.