Biographical / Historical
Scope and Content of Collection
Title: Eugène Maunoury album of Peruvian portraits and views
Date (inclusive): 1863-1889
Maunoury, Eugène, 1830-1896
1 Linear Feet
(89 photographs in 1 album)
The Getty Research Institute
1200 Getty Center Drive, Suite 1100
Los Angeles 90049-1688
Business Number: (310) 440-7390
Fax Number: (310) 440-7780
Album containing 89 photographs, most
of which are by Eugène Maunoury, a French photographer who was active in Peru from 1861 to
1865. Included are 57 portrait cartes-de-visite of Peruvian sitters; 16 views of Lima, Peru;
three portraits of women from the Marquesas Islands; and two views of Papeete,
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Language: Collection material is in
Biographical / Historical
Eugène Maunoury (1830-1896), was born near Paris in Villeparisis, France, but moved into
the city as a child where he eventually trained as a draftsman and photographer. Maunoury
was active as a photographer in Chile from 1858 to 1860. There he photographed the great
fire of Valparaíso of 1858. In 1861, he moved on to Lima, Peru, where by 1862 he established
a photography studio, Sociedad Fotográfica Maunoury y Cía, at 71 calle del Palacio. By 1862,
he was also associated with the Nadar studio as its Peruvian correspondent and soon became a
correspondent for the illustrated Parisian journals
Le monde illustré. Maunoury
used Nadar's endorsement, which entitled him to add Nadar's signature red "N" to his own
imprint, to successfully promote his photography business to such an extent that he opened
two more branches of his studio in Lima, one at 36 calle Constitución, in the port at
Callao, and the other at 8 Plateros de San Pedro.
In 1861, Maunoury hired Eugenio Courret, who was then living in Paris, as a camera operator
for his new studio. Courret arrived in Lima before the end of 1861 in time for the studio's
opening in January, 1862. As was customary at the time, the work Courret produced as one of
Maunoury's operatives appeared under Maunoury's imprint, and thus was not credited to
Courret. Using Courret Hermanos as their imprint, Eugenio Courret (Michel Eugène Courret,
1839-1920) and his brother, Aquiles Courret (Achille Courret, 1830-) established their own
studio, Fotografía Central, in 1863. When Maunoury returned to France in 1865 the Courrets
purchased all three of his studios. Maunoury had a studio in Paris for ten years and then
one in Maine-et-Loire for the next ten years before briefly running a studio in Laval.
Finding that Laval could not support his photography studio, Maunoury returned to Paris in
1894 where he worked as a draftsman. On the night of December 26, 1896 Maunoury wandered the
streets of Paris, eventually asking the brigadier on duty in a police station if he could
come inside to warm up, but once inside he pulled out a gun and fatally shot himself.
Members of the Courret family were already living in Lima when Eugenio Courret immigrated
to Peru. Francisco Courret, whose exact relationship to the brothers Eugenio and Aquiles is
unclear, was established in the city by 1838 and owned a luxury goods store named Mampara de
Bronce on calle Mercaderes. Aquiles Courret first landed at the port of Callao in 1851 and
by 1853 had also begun importing luxury goods to Peru. The next year he went into
partnership with Julio Perret, the former associate of Adolphe Dubreuil, calling their
import business Courret y Cia.
Eugenio had only been working for Maunoury for a short time when he and Aquiles began
preparations to convert the family luxury goods business into a photography studio. By early
March 1863, Eugenio had left Maunoury's employ and Fotografía Central was open for business
with Aquiles as its manager and Eugenio heading a cadre of camera operatives. When the
Courrets took over Maunoury's business in May, 1865, they had to renegotiate the Nadar
connection, and consequently did not add the red "N" to their imprint until the end of 1865.
By 1868, they had ceased using this device.
While, as with Maunoury, the carte-de-visite portrait craze contributed to the initial
success of their business, Courret Hermanos continued to thrive as a portrait studio for
over seventy years by keeping abreast of the rapid developments in photography, adopting
each new portraiture format and viable photographic process as it appeared. Eugenio Courret
had made photographic views of Lima and surrounding areas for Maunoury and continued to do
so under his own imprint, documenting new buildings, engineering projects such as the
railroads being built over the Andes, international expositions, and other contemporary
events, as well as taking the portraits of a steady stream of customers. Courret Hermanos
produced an abundance of albums that usually contained a combination of portraits of
Limeños, especially of the city's society women whose beauty wsa renowned; cityscapes;
landscapes; occupational portraits; and Peruvian tipos or types.
Aquiles Courret returned to France in 1873, after which Eugenio used E. Courret rather than
Courret Hermanos as his imprint. Eugenio returned to France sometime between 1887 and 1910.
Although the firm was listed in the local Lima trade directories as Courret y Cia until
1914, at some point between 1887 and 1914 it was acquired by Adolphe Dubreuil. The Dubreuil
family ran the firm until 1935.
Courret, Eugenio, and Biblioteca Nacional, issuing body.
Lima 1867-1925: Archivo Eugène Courret de la Biblioteca Nacional del Perú / Portraits of
Lima 1867-1925: Eugène Courret Archive of the National Library of Perú
Biblioteca Nacional del Perú: 2015.
Fuentes, Manuel Atanasio.
Lima: esquisses historiques, statistiques,
administratives, commerciales et morales
. Paris: Firmin Didot, frères, fils &
Fuentes, Manuel Atanasio.
Lima: Or, Sketches of the Capital of Peru,
Historical, Statistical, Administrative, Commercial and Moral.
Trübner & Company, 1866.
Lestang, Hervé. "Eugène Maunoury,"
Maude, Henry Evans.
Slavers in Paradise: The Peruvian Labour Trade
in Polynesia, 1862-1864
. Canberra: Australian National University Press, 1981.
Early Peruvian Photography. Ann Arbor, MI:
UMI Research Press, 1985.
McElroy, Keith. "Eugenio Courret and the Courret Archive in Lima, Peru,"
History of Photography, 24:2 (2000): 121-126. DOI:
Retter, Yolanda. "Peru," in Paul Hannavy, ed.
, vol. 2: 1063-1065. Routledge: New York and London,
Schwarz, Herman. "Fotógrafos franceses en el Perú del siglo XIX,"
Bulletin de L'Institut Français d'Études Andines 36, no. 1 (2007): 39-49.
Yates, Rachel. "Language, Culture, and the Impact of 'Slavers in Paradise'."
Te Papa Blog, August 4, 2017.
Conditions Governing Access
Open for use by qualified researchers.
Eugène Maunoury album of Peruvian portraits and views, 1863-1889, The Getty Research
Institute, Los Angeles, Accession no. 2022.R.15.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Acquired in 2022.
The collection was processed and the finding aid written by Beth Ann Guynn in 2022.
Scope and Content of Collection
The album contains 57 portrait cartes-de-visite of Peruvian sitters; 16 views of Lima,
Peru; three portraits of women from the Marquesas Islands; two views of Papeete, Tahiti;
five photographs taken in the courtyard of a two-story house; four card portraits (two
cabinet cards and two Victoria cards); and three partial watercolor paintings of Chinese
men. The cartes-de-visite all bear Eugène Maunoury's imprint, with the exception of two
cartes-de-visite that bear Courret Hermanos imprints. All of the photographs are albumen
prints, excepting the cabinet and Victoria cards, which are collodion prints.
Following the dedication page, which is dated 1864 and includes a Courret Hermanos
carte-de-visite portrait of a seated man, likely E. Vione, the presenter of the album, are
seven leaves of cartes-de-visite mounted four to a side, recto and verso. Present are
portraits of young society women, Afro-Peruvians, and indigenous Peruvians, as well as a few
cityscapes and views of buildings. Eight of the portraits of young women are hand colored.
Several cartes-de-visite portray society women as tapadas or veiled women (including two of
women accompanied by their young maids who are also dressed as tapadas), reflecting the
mid-nineteenth century revival of the tapada costume, a symbol of colonial Lima, when ladies
of good breeding covered all but their eyes in public. Whereas this mode of dress initially
signalled modesty, by the time these photographs were taken it served to enable a societal
craze for anonymous flirtation.
The carte-de-visite section concludes with four photographic reproductions of caricatures
by Maunoury, three of which are initialed E. M.
The next 11 leaves in the album contain the 16 views of Lima, the three portraits of women
from the Marquesas Islands; and the two views of Papeete. The views of Lima include city
views; views of municipal buildings, churches, and monuments; and street scenes. One
photograph depicts an alley of straw and reed huts populated by indigenous people who
display their wares of produce and used clothing outside their dwellings. The views of
Papeete are both depictions of buildings with the harbor and bay in the background. Although
these two images are signed by Maunoury and are on Sociedad Fotográfica mounts, they were
taken by Eugenio Courret who made a four-month journey to Tahiti and the Marquesas Islands
from December, 1863 through March, 1864. Since Eugenio Courret was not working for Maunoury
at the time it is not clear why these views are signed by Maunoury. Three costumbrista
watercolors depicting Chinese men are mounted on the verso of one of the Papeete views (a
fourth watercolor originally mounted there is no longer present).
The three portraits of Marquesas women are captioned at the bottom of their mounts "Femme
canaque" (2) and "Reine canaque." Canqui (Kanaka; from the Hawaii word for person) was a
nineteenth century term used for indigenous Pacific Islanders in general. A "correspondance
du Pérou" written by Maunoury on 12 June 1863 and published in
L'Illustration (vol. 42, 29 August 1863, p. 157-158) is illustrated with variant
portraits of two of the three women who appear in the present album. In the article, the
women are identified by name and as all hailing from the island of Ua Pou, the third largest
of the Marquesas islands. Depicted are Tahia-Ka-Hampu, "reine de Va-Pou, femme de Ritozo;"
Tahia-Otona; and Tahia-Upa. Ritozo, "roi de Va-pou" is also depicted in the article.
Maunoury's letter in
L'Illustration addresses what was in
effect the Peruvian enslaver trade in Polynesia during the early 1860s after the abolition
of slavery in Peru in 1854 led to a shortage of agricultural laborers and guano gatherers.
In 1861, the Peruvian government enacted a law permitting the importation of "Asiatic
colonists," that is Chinese laborers, into the country, but when this did not supply enough
workers Peru tacitly extended the geographical boundaries to include Polynesia as a source
of labor. In Polynesia, recruitment tactics included enlisting willing immigrants, who were
usually misled regarding terms and living conditions, as well as taking people by force and
Only one ship stopped at the island of Ua Pou in search of laborers. Nineteen people were
ultimately taken on board for Peru after local inhabitants were invited to a party on the
ship - five people were willingly recruited, six people were taken by force, and eight women
were locked in the captain's cabin during the party - while the remainder of the partygoers
escaped by jumping overboard. The individuals from Ua Pou depicted in Maunoury's article and
in the album would have thus been part of this group. Peru's treatment of Polynesian
"immigrants" led to a strong outcry both within the country and internationally. The
conditions Polynesians lived under in Peru were abhorrent, and many Polynesians died of
diseases for which they had no immunity. By 1863, further Polynesian recruitment was halted
and those Polynesians still surviving in Peru were eventually repatriated.
The remaining photographs in the album appear to have been added by the original owner
(Adolphe Massinot) sometime after he received it. Five photographs depict Massinot and his
family in the courtyard and on the verandas of their home in Peru. Also included are a pair
of cabinet card portraits of Massinot and his wife by L. Brochery; a Victoria card of
Massinot standing with his wife, daughter, and grandchild; another Victoria card of Massinot
as an older man seated on a veranda; and a later cabinet card portrait of Massinot by L.
Joilet. A partial photograph adhered below this final portrait depicts a French villa.
The album is bound in deep red morocco and the covers are edged in brass with two figured
brass clasps on the fore edges. The gilt title on the front cover is framed by an embossed
design of crosses set within quatrefoils set within squares. The cover title is the name and
address of Maunoury's main studio: Sociedad Fotográfica / Calle de Palacio 71 / Lima.
Dedication on flyleaf: A. M. Adolphe Massinot / Souvenir du plus dévoué / de ses amis /
Lima, 12 Juillet 1864 / E. Vione.
The Maunoury cartes-de-visite bear the imprint below the left corner of the image: E.
Maunoury / 71 Calle del Palacio. Below the right corner of the image is a red "N" indicating
Maunoury's association with the Parisian studio of Nadar.
The views of Lima and Papeete are blind stamped on the mount below the image: Sociedad
Fotográfica Lima. They are signed below the image "E. Maunoury" or simply "Maunoury."
The imprint on the mount of the Courret Hermanos carte-de-visite on the flyleaf reads:
Fotografía Central / Courret Hermanos / 107, calle Mercaderes / Lima. The other
carte-de-visite with a Courret Hermanos imprint reads simply "Courret Hermanos Fotógs. /
Lima" with no address given. As with all of the other photographs in the album, their back
stamps are not visible.
The album is disbound and its leaves and covers are housed in separate boxes.
Titles of the individual photographs were devised by the archivist unless otherwise
Arranged in a single series: Series I. Eugène Maunoury album of Peruvian portraits and
Subjects - Topics
Indigenous peoples -- Peru -- Portraits
Marquesans -- Portraits
Monuments -- Peru -- Lima
Streets -- Peru -- Lima
Black people -- Peru
Subjects - Places
Papeete (French Polynesia) -- Description and travel
Lima (Peru) -- Description and
Genres and Forms of Material
Albumen prints -- Peru -- 19th century
Photograph albums -- Peru -- 19th century
Studio portraits -- Peru -- 19th century
Cartes-de-visite (card photographs) -- Peru -- 19th
Maunoury, Eugène, 1830-1896