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Galerie Roger-Viollet : Léon & Lévy Studio : The Orient In Big


The Roger-Viollet Gallery presents 50 panoramic photos of the Léon and Lévy Studio, to be discovered from October 7, 2021.

Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt, around the 1900s, the Léon & Lévy studios sent their photographic operators to travel the world and in particular to the east of the Mediterranean.

They moved around with their cumbersome photographic chambers employing imposing glass plates measuring 16 x 42 cm. These unusual dimensions allowed  them to obtain horizontal and vertical panoramic views of exceptional quality.

Roman ruins, Tuaregs praying in the Sahara, oases, street scenes in Marrakech, Tunis and Cairo, portraits of the Ouled Naïl tribe in Algeria, dahabiehs on the Nile and the pyramids of Giza, punctuate this adventure around the Mediterranean.

This European look at a distant world was intended for the publication of postcards and photo albums for a clientele curious about exotic trips that were difficult to make at the time.


The Léon & Lévy Studio

Moyse Léon and Isaac dit Georges Lévy started out as assistants in the Parisian photographic studio Ferrier-Soulier under the Second Empire.

They founded their own studio in 1864 and sold albumen paper prints, mainly stereoscopic views, under the Léon and Lévy signature “L. L.”.

The Léon & Lévy firm took part in the Universal Exhibition of 1867 where it won the Great Gold Medal of the Emperor. In 1874, the Léon et Lévy studio became J. Lévy et Cie, Isaac Georges Levy being the sole director of the company from that date. On the arrival of Georges Lévy’s two sons in 1895, Ernest and Lucien, the company grew and became Lévy & fils, the works retaining the signature «L. L.».

This photographic firm had an intense activity, publishing prints sold individually, albums compiling travel photographs as well as postcards, all between 1864 and 1917, when they ceased their activities. The Léon et Lévy collection was bought in 1970 by the Agence Roger-Viollet.

Today, these glass plate negatives are kept by the Historical Library of the City of Paris and distributed exclusively by the Roger-Viollet Agency.

Modern prints from the exhibition are on sale at Galerie Roger-Viollet.


L’Orient En Grand

From October 7, 2021 to January 8, 2022

Tuesday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Galerie Roger-Viollet

6, rue de Seine

75006 Paris

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