the Carmel

theater scrapbook

Quirky trip to the Andes Cordilleras

July 1894

The "Excentric Journey to the Cordilleras of the Andes" is photo theater inspired by the stay of Abbot Joseph de Cornière in Chile. In 1892-1893, the latter had indeed made an unsuccessful attempt at the Novitiate of the Redemptorists then established in Chile. On his return trip, he had crossed the Andes Cordillera with a caravan to pick up the ship in an Atlantic port.

Back in France, he is affected by malarial fevers. Mr and Mrs Guérin, who had just inherited the Château de La Musse in the Eure, offered his father, Doctor de Cornière, to lodge Joseph there so that he could rest.

There, he finds Monsieur and Madame Guérin, their daughters Marie and Jeanne, Francis La Néele (Jeanne's husband), and Céline Martin their cousin. Among other distractions, they produced these various photographic paintings, which the Abbé de Cornière would then put into verse.

For correspondence commenting on this escapade, see Céline's letter from July 17, 1894 :

"We are busy all day doing photography. We dress up and we do a whole story of travelers in tableaus vivants, it will be very funny." 

Remember that Céline and Marie Guérin, like Francis and Joseph de Cornière, were good photographers. There were 9 seconds of exposure for each photo.