The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography



Although unidentified here, the photographer is probably Félix-Jacques Moulin (1802-1875).

In 1849 Moulin opened a studio at 31 bis, rue du Faubourg Montmartre. His pornographic daguerreotypes of young naked girls let to his prosecution in 1851, the court branding his work ‘so obscene that even to pronounce the titles […] would violate public morality.’ He was sentenced to one month’s imprisonment.

After his release, he resumed his career as a photographer. He taught photography, sold photographic equipment, and garnered praise from critics for his work. He continued his more irregular portraiture, though now more discreetly, and he had a backdoor installed at his studio, in case a quick escape should ever prove necessary at a future date.

In 1856 he made a tour of Algeria, financed by the French government, in order to record the country under French colonialism. Despite the many technical difficulties he encountered, he returned in 1858 with hundreds of photographs of landscapes, architecture, archaeological surveys and the country’s indigenous inhabitants. Three hundred of these photographs were published as a three-volume work entitled L'Algérie photographiée, which he dedicated to Napoléon III.

Moulin retired in 1862 and died in 1875.


Code: 126584
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