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Louis or Luigi Crette
The above is a modified transcription from the French in Sylvie Aubenas, Gustave Le Gray, 1820-1884, (Paris: Bibliotheque nationale de France, 2002) 162, note 37. In Aubenas's book, there seems to be some confusion about Crette and whether or not Crette Romet is the same person. The latter seems to have been a painter in Paul Delaroche's studio and the former, a photographer working in the south of France, yet they are referenced under the same index entry in the back of the Le Gray monograph (from Russell Lord, Hans Kraus Gallery).
Crette exhibited in 1852, London, Society of Arts. His exhibit number was 453 and the full title of his work on display was "Chateau of Chillon" (process: wax paper). The exhibitor was a Mr. Claudet (Photographic Exhibitions in Britain 1839-1865: Records from Victorian Exhibition Catalogues, see reference below).
In May of 1860, Crette visited with Le Gray and Alphonse Karr, a friend and neighbor, in Nice. Earlier in the month, Le Gray had boarded a ship with Alexandre Dumas for a tour of the Mediterranean. The following day after the old friends' initial meeting, Crette and Le Gray took several photographs of a group luncheon. A member of that group, poet Theodore de Banville, wrote, "Crette and Le Gray implored us to face their camera, and as I write this, I am casting an eye at their marvelous miniature, which is as big as an ordinary letter, and which contains one hundred portraits of vivid resemblance." According to Janis, none of these images taken by Le Gray and Crette have ever surfaced, though a unique photograph exists of a garden that might be Karr's property. This photo is housed in the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris, dated 1860 by the library (Janis, 129-130, 164-165, 173; photograph p. 127). It was said that Le Gray and Crette took "three or four photographs of the rose arbor, of the guests that it sheltered, of our host, [and] of charming little Jeanne [Karr's daughter]" (Aubenas, 162-163).
Among many scientists and artists, Crette went to Le Gray's studio in Paris to experiment with silver nitrate. Aubenas states that Crette would later become photographer to the King of Piedmont (338).
From Etudes Photographique from the SFP: 89 "Fête de l'empereur français à Milan, décoration de la cathédrale. D'après une photographie de M. L. Crette, photographe du roi de Sardaigne", L'Illustration, n° 161, 27 août 1859, p. 161
"Tableaux et sculptures [D'après les photographies de M. Trantoul, à Toulouse.]", L'Illustration, n°810, 4 sept. 1858, p. 149
Russell Lord, Hans Kraus Gallery
Photographic Exhibitions in Britain 1839-1865: Records from Victorian Exhibition Catalogues, web site:
Eugenia Parry Janis. The Photography of Gustave Le Gray Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1987 (This book accompanied an exhibition on Le Gray held at The Art Institute of Chicago, Sept. 18 to Dec. 6, 1987)
Sylvie Aubenas, et. al. Gustave Le Gray: 1820-1884 Los Angeles: Getty Publications, 2002 (This book accompanied the exhibit, "Gustave Le Gray, photographe (1820-1884)," Manzart and Mazarine galleries, Paris, March 19 to June 16, 2002)
Lempertz, Photography Catalog on-line, April 2006:
Artnet, auction results:
[Contributed by Lee Gallery]