Brighton - Marie Bertin
Miss Marie Bertin
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(born c1855, France)
Marie Bertin was the daughter and, apparently, only child of Eugenie and Louis Bertin, the French-born Brighton photographer. Marie was born in France between 1854 and 1856. ( At the time of the 1871 census, Marie's age was given as 17, but in the 1881 census, her age is recorded as 25. Marie and her parents, Eugenie and Louis Bertin, arrived in England from France sometime in the 1860s. When the 1871 census was taken, the Bertin family were residing in South London at 6 The Pavement, Clapham Common, where Louis Bertin worked as a photographer and tobacconist. After a brief period in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1874 Louis Bertin and his family settled in the Sussex seaside resort of Brighton.
Louis Bertin established a photographic portrait studio on the seafront at 88 King's Road, Brighton. Louis Bertin worked as a professional photographer at this address between 1874 and 1886. Presumably, Marie Bertin, who was aged about 20 when she arrived in Brighton, assisted her father at his King's Road studio. When the 1881 census was taken, Marie Bertin is shown living with her parents at their business premises at 88 King's Road, Brighton. On the census return, Marie Bertin is described as an "Artist", aged 25. Marie might have been employed to hand-colour her father's monochrome photographs or even produce portrait miniatures based on the small photographs produced at Bertin's studio. ( Around 1884, publicity for the studio at 88 King's Road describes the nature of Bertin's business as "Photographers and Miniature Painters" ). The fact that Louis Bertin's daughter went on to set up her own photographic studio in Brighton supports the idea that Marie Bertin also worked as a photographer's assistant or camera operator at Bertin's King's Road studio.
Around 1885, Miss Marie Bertin established her own photographic portrait studio in Brighton in Cannon Place, a street that leads off from King's Road on the seafront. Page's Directory of Brighton, published in 1886, lists Marie Bertin as the proprietor of a photographic studio at 42a Cannon Place, Brighton. Miss Bertin is recorded as photographic artist at 42a Cannon Place, Brighton in various local trade directories issued between 1886 and 1888. Pike's 1889 Directory of Brighton lists the proprietor of the photographic studio at 42a Cannon Place as Madame Rivers. There is no record of Marie Bertin marrying in England, so we must assume that Madame Rivers is not the married name of Marie Bertin and that Madame Rivers the photographer was a different person.
Kelly's 1890 Sussex Directory, records the proprietor of the photographic studio at 43 Cannon Place, Brighton, as "James E. Mayall", which is clearly a typographic error and should have shown the name "John E. Mayall". John Jabez Edwin Mayall (1813-1901) was a nationally famous photographer who had operated a photographic portrait studio at 90-91 King's Road, Brighton, since 1864. Page's 1890 Directory of Brighton, correctly lists the proprietor of the Cannon Place studio as J. E. Mayall, F. C. S., F. R., M.S. but gives the studio address as 45 Cannon Place, Brighton. After a couple of years the studio was closed and the building at 45 Cannon Place was being used as a Post Office.
[ABOVE] A possible portrait of Marie Bertin (c1874). The reverse of this carte-de-visite photograph issued by Bertin of 88 King's Road, Brighton, is inscribed in ink, in a contemporary hand, "Miss Bertin".
[ABOVE] The reverse of the above carte-de-visite portrait showing the name "Miss Bertin" written in ink in the space usually reserved for the negative number or picture reference (c1874).
|[ABOVE] A late Victorian map showing the location of Louis Bertin's photographic studio at 88 King's Road, Brighton (marked by a red dot) and Marie Bertin's studio at 42a Cannon Place, Brighton (marked by a blue dot).|