Scope and Content
Title: Recuerdos del Perú
Date (inclusive): between 1863 and 1871
Possible range of dates based on date of establishment of Courret's studio in Lima and completion date of the Palacio de la
Exposición as pictured in one of the photographs.
Collection number: 94/325
Courret, Eugenio, b. 1841, photographer.
1 album (87 photographic prints) : albumen, 34 x 47 cm (album)
Views of Lima (19 x 24.7 cm or slightly smaller) are mounted on rectos of 25 leaves of stiff white cardboard, one to a page,
within a printed light brown border; large (14 x 9.7 cm) and small (8.7 x 5.3 cm) portrait photographs (images both rectangular
and oval) are mounted on rectos of 25 alternating leaves, two or four to a page, each one mounted within a printed geometric
olive brown border; none of the photos has a caption or other identifying mark.
Bound in green pebble-grain leather boards; black and gilt borders; large gilt floral corner-pieces; gold-stamped cover title
"Recuerdos del Perú;" gold-stamped name of photographer's studio, "E. Courret Fot. Lima" and blind-stamped ornamental cartouche
(for owner's name?) appear below title on upper cover; gilt rules on spine; white textured glossy endpapers; all edges gilt;
lower corners on upper and lower covers are reinforced with brass edges.
Spec. Coll. copy: in modern beige cloth clamshell box, with title "Recuerdos de Peru."
Abstract: Photograph album, probably from 1871, containing 25 urban views of Lima, Peru, and 64 studio portraits of middle and upper
class women of Lima by Eugenio Courret.
Language: Finding aid is written in
Language of the Material:
Materials are in English.
University of California, Los Angeles. Library Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library Special Collections
for paging information.
Restrictions on Access
Open for research. STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact UCLA Library
Special Collections for paging information.
Restrictions on Use and Reproduction
Property rights to the physical object belong to the UC Regents. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the
creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright
owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.
[Identification of item], Recuerdos del Perú (Collection 94/325). UCLA Library Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research
UCLA Catalog Record ID
Nineteenth-century French photographer active in Peru. Courret moved to Lima in 1860, and initially, formed a partnership
with the photographer, Eugenio Maunory. However, a few years later, in 1863, Eugenio and his brother Aquiles established their
own studio, Fotografía Central, in the neo-roccoco Casa Courret located at 463 Calle Mercaderes in Lima. Courret went on to
become the leading Peruvian portrait photographer of his time. His views of the buildings, streets, and citizens of Lima document
life in that city during the second half of the 19th century.
Scope and Content
The album was most likely compiled for a tourist or visitor. As McElroy points out, "Prints of large format views were commonly
mounted in albums for the visitor....Courret albums were titled Recuerdos del Perú (Memories of Peru), which was stamped in
gold on the covers along with the name of the studio. This title seems to confirm that these pieces were made up with the
intention of their leaving the country either as a traveler's souvenir or to be sent to relatives abroad" (p. 31). Perhaps
this album belonged to a lady traveler, who may have wanted to add not only important views of the city to her album, but
also the stylish portraits of the local ladies of society, dressed in their best, as a record of the fashions and hairstyles
of the day. The wild popularity of the carte-de-visite portrait throughout the 1860s would have meant that the studios had
large stocks of them on hand. Some of Courret's urban views are panoramas of Lima, often showing the Plaza de Armas, la Municipalidad,
and the Cathedral from the tower of Santo Domingo, the rooftops of Lima in the foreground; the city water canal is visible
in one of the panoramas, the bull ring, Plaza de Acho, in another, the Rimac River and San Cristóbal peak in a third. Courret's
photographs document the many churches of Lima; this album includes photos of the Iglesia de San Pedro, a Jesuit church built
in 1624, with twin bell towers; the Iglesia de San Agustín with its elaborate churrigueresque facade and statue of St. Augustine
above the central entrance; Iglesia de la Merced, whose sculpted facade is adorned with twisted columns; the Monastery of
San Francisco, recognized by its baroque carved portal and twin towers; and the leafy interior courtyard of the Monastery.
The Iglesia de Santa María de la Caridad, no longer in existence, looms behind the statue of Bolívar in the Plaza de la Inquisición
(later renamed Plaza de la Constitución). The statue of Cristóbal Colón, sheltering an Indian maiden with his cloak, stands
in the Alameda del Acho. There are two photos of Calle Mercaderes, characterized by carved wooden balconies above, and a row
of shop awnings below; in the distance at the end of the street, the arch of the Puente de Piedra can be seen, with its motto
"Dios y la Patria." The final section of the album is devoted to the Parque de la Exposición, which contains the Palacio de
la Exposición, completed in 1871 for the Gran Muestra de Artes, Ciencias e Industrias, celebrating the 50th anniversary of
Peru's independence; gardens; the Glorieta Presidencial; and the ponds and small animal houses of the Zoológico. Alternating
with the urban views are 25 leaves containing 62 portrait photos of "limeñas," most likely women of European descent. Typically
between 20 and 40 years of age, they are dressed in rich elaborate gowns of satin and velvet, featuring draped panels and
trains, and adorned with ribbons, pleats, sashes, and lace trim, and pose beside a velvet tufted chair or a carved piece of
furniture, their hands resting on top, often clasping fans or lace handkerchiefs. Their hair is piled high on their heads,
plaited in rolls, woven with ribbons, curled, or left long in ringlets. Some of the ladies wear lace caps, silk rosettes,
satin bows, or flowers in their hair. Almost all of them wear a cameo, brooch, or cross attached to a ribbon choker at the
neck, and drop earrings. One of the ladies may be a bride, wearing a long white veil.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Palacio de Torre-Tagle (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Palacio de Gobierno (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Catedral de Lima --Photographs.
Basílica de La Merced (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Plaza de Acho (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Jardín Botánico (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Parque de la Exposición (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Iglesia de San Agustín (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Iglesia de San Pedro (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Iglesia de Santa María de la Caridad (Lima, Peru) --Photographs.
Arches --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Balconies --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Facades --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Church buildings --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Plazas --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Gardens --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Fountains --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Zoos --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Bull rings --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Carriages and carts --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Women --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Women's clothing --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Hairstyles --Peru --Lima --Photographs.
Lima (Peru) --Photographs.
Lima (Peru) --Buildings, structures, etc. --Photographs.
Rimac River (Peru) --Photographs.
Genres and Forms of Material
For additional information on the Courret photographic studio in Lima, and images of some of the photos included in the album,
Early Peruvian photography: a critical case study / by Keith McElroy. Ann Arbor, Mich. : UMI Research Press, c1985, especially p. 30-35, and figures 20-26.