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Terme de Bacchus Laffon, Louise  (French, active 1859–1870)

An early practical application of the Poitevin photolithographic process from a series of photographs taken by Louise Laffon of objects from the Campana Collection in the Musée Napoléon III in Paris (now the Louvre).

Laffon, born Louise Lusignan Lazard, was a female painter and photographer active in Paris from 1859 at 93 Boulevard Beaumarchais. She moved to 13 rue Lord Byron in 1861, and called her studio "Photography Lord Byron." She was the third woman admitted to S.F.P. in 1864. She then operated at 148 rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Rue 3 of Beaucourt from 1867 to 1870. She participated in exhibitions in Paris in 1859, 1861, 1863, 1864 and 1867, in Marseille in 1861 and in London in 1862. She ceased activities in 1876.

Overlooked until now, female photographers were employed by and played an important role in the Museum’s mission to use photography for these administrative and educational purposes. While the Museum had its own photographic service and photographers, including Isabel Agnes Cowper, it also sourced photographs from independent professionals, including those working abroad. Laffon produced a series of photographs of objects from the Campana Collection in the Musée Napoléon III in Paris (now the Louvre).


Laffon et Poitevin. Le Musée Napoléon III. Architecture, sculpture, ornementation, terres cuites et marbres de l’ex-collection Campana. Cent planches d’après les clichés photographiques de M. L. Laffon lithographiées et imprimées par M. Lemercier, Paris, A. Morel et Cie, [1863]-1864. Les planches sont des lithophotographies d’après les « clichés de L. Laffon, procédé Poitevin. 16 photolithographs