The collection comprises 14 photographs
by Félix Jacques Moulin of the three nineteenth-century northern Algerian provinces of
Algiers, Constantine, and Oran which he toured in 1856 and 1857.
The French photographer, Félix-Jacques-Antoine Moulin was born in 1802. Little is known
regarding his training as a photographer, but by 1849 Moulin was selling daguerreotypes of
nudes from his Paris studio at 31 bis rue du Faubourg Montmartre. Purportedly created as
academy or nude studies for use by artists, Moulin's images seemed to have had a wider
audience and his sitters were often teenage girls. In 1851, his premises along with those of
Jules Malacrida, an optician and dealer, and Mme. veuve René, another daguerreotypist, were
raided. The three were tried together for the possession and sale of "obscene objects" in a
closed-door session of the Cour d'assises de la Seine. Moulin was sentenced to a month in
prison and fined 100 francs. After his release Moulin reopened his studio using another
entrance that went through 23, rue Richer. Throughout his career Moulin continued to produce
and exhibit female nudes, protercting himself by placing copies of them on legal deposit at
the Bibliothèque Impériale, Paris.