La photographie ancienne en Asie (Early Photographs in Asia)

by Jérome Ghesquière

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Type: hardback

Publisher: Editions Scala / Musée Guimet. (#6 at Angkor Database Library)

Published: 2016

Author: Jérome Ghesquière

Pages: 128

ISBN: 9782359881639

Language : French

A publication related to the 2015 exhibition of rare, ancient photographs taken (all before 1890) around Asia, from Afghanistan to Sri Lanka, Japan or Cambodia, at the Musée Guimet, Paris.

The chapter devoted to Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam dwells on two major Angkor photographers: John Thomson, who arrived from Siam to Makhon-Wat or Nakhon-Wat (Siamese names of Angkor Wat) in February (not April, as stated in the present book) 1866, and Émile Gsell, whose first visit to Angkor a few months later probably occured when he was part of the crew on the French Navy steamboat, the Gia-Dinh, carrying Officer Ernest Doudart de Lagrée, future commander of the French Expédition du Mékong.

According to the authors, Doudart de Lagrée (who had previously been in Siemreap in 1863) had marveled at Thomson's work in Angkor, befriended the Scottish photographer and invited him for dinner onboard. Convinced that photography was a crucial tool for exploratory and archaeological prospection purposes, the French officer discovered that one of his crewmen, Émile Gsell, was expert in photography, and encouraged him in taking photo stills of the ruins.

Jérome Ghesquiere (editor), with contributions by: Terry Bennett, Sebastian Dobson, Claude Estebe, John Falconer, Gael Newton, Frances Terpak.

Tags: photography, Asia, Khmer culture, history

About the Author


Jérome Ghesquière

Director of the Musée Guimet (MNAAG) Photo Collection, Jérome Ghesquière is the Head of the Photo Archive Department at the renowned Parisian museum since 1989.