Jean-Baptiste Louis Gros

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H.E. Baron Gros in 1858.

Jean-Baptiste-Louis Gros (1793–1870) was a French diplomat and senator, as well as a notable pioneer of photography.[1]

Created a Baron of the Second Empire in 1829, Baron Gros was despatched to Bogotá (1838–1842) as Chargé d'affaires during the Colombian Civil War, and later elsewhere in Latin America, before being recalled to Europe as Minister Plenipotentiary to Athens in 1850.

He served as Ambassador to London (1852–1863), travelling extensively, including to China and Japan in 1857 and 1858. S.E. le baron Gros was minister-in-command of French troops during the Anglo-French expedition to China (1856-1860). On 9 October 1858, the Treaty of Amity and Commerce between France and Japan was concluded at Edo to which Baron Gros was a signatory; this treaty established diplomatic relations between the two imperial nations.[2] In 1863 he was elected to the French Senate, where he served until his death in 1870.[3]

He produced many famous daguerrotypes — chief among them those of the Acropolis in Greece. While he is best known for his daguerrotypes, he painted a few Latin American landscapes which are quite striking for their reality. Baron Gros, a member of The Photographic Society, also photographed The Great Exhibition of 1851 in London.[4]



  2. Dr Christian Polak: Soie et lumières: L'âge d'or des échanges franco-japonais (des origines aux années 1950). Tokyo: Chambre de Commerce et d'Industrie Française du Japon Hachette, (2001); 絹と光: 知られざる日仏交流100年の歴史 (江戶時代-1950年代) Kinu to hikariō: shirarezaru Nichi-Futsu kōryū 100-nen no rekishi (Edo jidai-1950-nendai). Tokyo: Ashetto Fujin Gahōsha (2002)

See also