"The Palace of Birsing Deo and the lake, Duthhia", 1867

Louis Rousselet (1845-1929)
Voyage through India by Mr. L. Rousselet, pl. 27, around 1870. Photograph, albumen paper print. Goupil collection Inv. 91.II.6.26 (1)

In 1863, young Louis Rousselet set off for a voyage of six months in India. Amazed by the richness of the landscapes and remains he found there, he stayed for four years. To preserve the memory of the monuments he visited, he learned photography and produced more than six hundred images.

On his return to France in 1868, the House of Goupil intended to publish these images in a book entitled Voyage through India by Mr. L. Rousselet, which was to be composed of one hundred and sixty photographic plates. However, the almost complete project seems nver to have been published. The publication, containing original prints, was undoubtedly destined to be prestigious, rare and costly. Its failure to be published can certainly be explained by the unfavourable economic conditions of the period, as the 1870 war had just begun. Rousselet was mobilised, and the workshops of the House of Goupil suffered major damage. Only this extraordinary assemblage of photographs of great technical and aesthetic quality remains.

However, Louis Rousselet entrusted the publication of his travel diary, The India of the Rajahs, a compilation of his notes, drawings and photographs, to Librairie Hachette. The work was very successful with a wide audience. Rousselet remained faithful to Hachette, with whom he had a successful career.


"The Palace of Birsing Deo and the lake, Duthhia", 1867 (c) mairie de Bordeaux