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NEURDEIN FRÈRES (France, Paris 1820-1910 / act: Paris)

Neurdein Frères Sons of photographer Jean Neurdein Caesar, better known under the pseudonym Charlet, Neurdein Frères, Étienne (1832 - post 1915) and Louis Antonin (1846 - post 1915) opened in 1863 in Paris an institution dedicated to photography (successively rue des Filles du Calvaire, rue des Filles Saint - Thomas, boulevard Sebastopol, then Avenue de Breteuil). Each brother had a different role: Etienne handled the administration of the workshop and made portraits. Louis-Antonin conducted tours and recorded views of buildings and landscapes. The Maison Neurdein therefore created portraits of historical figures and contemporary celebrities but also architectural views in all formats. Starting from 1868, the house Neurdein circulated views of France, Algeria, Belgium, and then published postcards under the brands "ND" and "X".

Louis-Antonin became a member of the French Society of Photography in 1884, and member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Photographie in 1886, while Étienne joined in 1902. In 1886 and 1888, the Neurdein Frères were awarded a gold medal at the International Exhibition of the Society of Science and Industrial Arts. They received award at the Universal Exhibition of 1889 for the views created with the panoramic camera Moëssard. In 1900, they were honoured with a Grand Prix. Recognized for their ability to reproduce the castles, churches and historical sites, the Department of Public Instruction and Fine Arts granted them the right to operate the service collection of historical monuments from 1898 until the beginning of hostilities. This exclusive right included the circulation and the sale of tests obtained from the photographs belonging to the State. The maintenance of the collection of historical monuments was also dependent on them, as well as updating and printing of the catalog of collections. The Neurdein Frères also raised the funds to commission photographing buildings, especially in Corsica. The Archives Photographiques (Médiathèque de l'Architecture et du Patrimoine) keep one thousand glass plates made by the two brothers. The National Portrait Gallery in London holds more than 10 of their photographs.

[Megakles Rogakos 12/2009]

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