The Mineralogical Record
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Louis Laurent Simonin
(1830-1886)

Louis Laurent Simonin was born in Marseilles in 1830, and studied mining engineering at the St. Étienne School of Mines, graduating in 1852. He held various posts in connection with the mines of Italy and France, and traveled widely throughout the Americas on behalf of the French Government. Although he became a prominent mining engineer, his fame today rests primarily on his books, especially La Vie Souterraine, ou Mines et Les Mineurs ("Underground Life, or Mines and Miners")(1867). The book, which is said to have been the inspiration for Emil Zola's Germinal, is profusely illustrated with 160 excellent engravings commissioned from artists and engravers including P. de Neuville, A. Faguet, Dumas-Vorzet, Bonnafoux, Lançon, J. Huyo, P. Ferat, Hildibrand, C. Laplante, Bertrand, J. Gauchard-Brunier and F. Bonhommé, all of whom were apparently well-known at the time. It constituted the largest and most skillfully drawn collection of mining art ever to appear in one place, and was a best-seller in its time. Simonin also published Les Pierres Esquisses Mineralogiques ("Rocks; a Mineralogical Outline") (1869), a similar treatment of rocks worldwide, illustrated by the work of engravers and artists including Eugène Cicéri, E. Petot, A. Mesnel and E. Tournois, with six chromolithographs after watercolor paintings by A. Faguet. The engravings shown here are taken from these two books, both in the Mineralogical Record Library.

W.E.W.

Reference:
Wilson, J. G., and Fiske, J. (eds.)(1887) Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, vol. 5, p. 535.

Click on thumbnail picture to see larger image.
Number of artworks found: 36 | Artworks being viewed: 33 to 36

The Mineralogical Record: Louis Laurent Simonin - Opencast Workings, Rammelsberg in the Harz Mountains Opencast Workings, Rammelsberg in the Harz Mountains
Copperplate engraving, 3.5 x 4.1 inches (1867), no signature--perhaps engraved by J. Gauchard-Brunier.
The Mineralogical Record: Louis Laurent Simonin - Underground Benching at Stolberg, Rhenish Prussia Underground Benching at Stolberg, Rhenish Prussia
Copperplate engraving, 4.7 x 7 inches (1867), engraved by J. Gauchard-Brunier.
The Mineralogical Record: Louis Laurent Simonin - Laddered Shaft in the Harz Mountains Laddered Shaft in the Harz Mountains
Copperplate engraving, 3.5 x 5 inches (1867), no signature--perhaps engraved by J. Gauchard-Brunier.
The Mineralogical Record: Louis Laurent Simonin - Harz Miners Working a Lode Harz Miners Working a Lode
Copperplate engraving, 3.6 x 5.1 inches (1867), engraved by Hildibrand.
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