Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Marcel Monnier

[The portrait does not appear in any of the twelve volumes of the Silvy daybooks in the archives of the National Portrait Gallery in London. The sitting probably took place between July 1863 and June 1864, the period covered by the missing volume of the daybooks.]

The sitter is the photographer’s young brother-in-law, Jean-Marie-Albert-Marcel Monnier, who was later a photographer himself and an explorer. He is seen here with a stuffed studio prop. 

When Silvy met and married Alice Monnier in 1863, she had for several years, following the death of their mother, been helping to raise her younger brother Marcel, who was always known as ‘Bébé’ [English: Baby] within the family.

Marcel became a correspondent for the French daily newspaper Le Temps. He travelled to Mexico, San Francisco and Hawaii, where he photographed the volcano Kilauea. In 1892 he accompanied his friend Louis-Gustave Binger, the noted explorer of West Africa, on a mission to chart the frontiers of the Côte d’Ivoire.

Marcel subsequently published an account of the journey, Mission du capitaine Binger à la Côte d'Ivoire et au Soudan (Bondoukou, Kong, Djimini, Diammala), illustrated with many of his own photographs. Another book, France noire (Côte d'Ivoire et Soudan), followed two years later.

Works he subsequently published gave accounts of his voyages in South America, where he crossed the continent from coast to coast, and of his travels in Asia.

Marcel Monnier died at Jeurre, near the Swiss border, on 18 September 1918.


code: cs1554
Silvy children, Jean-Marie-Albert-Marcel Monnier, Marcel Monnier, explorer, explorers, photographer, photographers, Camille Silvy's family, Camille Silvy, Silvy