Henri Monnier Carjat, Etienne  (French, 1828-1906)

Monnier was a famous French actor, pictured playing the part of Monsieur Prudhomme. Printed by Lemercier & Cie from a negative by Carjat and included in the publication Paris-Theater.

Paris had a thriving theatrical culture in the 1870s. The venerable Comedie francaise continued to present the classical repertoire, while contemporary drama and comedy played in the many theaters of the city. Idols and rising stars were adored by the public, and virtually every newspaper and journal carried reviews. The cults of celebrity were stoked by many photographers, ranging from Nadar, Carjat, and Reutlinger to lesser known studios whose portraits of performers were widely distributed. It seems inevitable that
Paris-Theatre should appear, a weekly in the format of a newspaper with an excellent woodburytype on each cover, framed by an elaborate surround with the props of tragedy to the left and comedy to the right. Such was the prestige of the French stage that Paris-Theatre was available by the single issue or by subscription in Paris, the provinces, and abroad.

Of all nations, France in particular loved the qualities of the Woodburytype, re christened photoglyptie. Lemercier, who produced the beautiful images in Paris-Theatre, held one of the twelve French patents granted.

Reproduced / Exhibited

Witkin, London, and Shestack. The Photograph Collector’s Guide. London: Secker & Warburg, 1979. p. 45 (alt)

Benson, Richard, and David Frankel. The Printed Picture. New York, NY: The Museum of Modern Art, 2008. p. 227. (alt)

Benson, Richard, and Gary L. Haller. The Physical Print: A Brief Survey of the Photographic Process. New Haven: Jonathan Edwards College, 2005.no. 20 (alt)