Zacharie and Hervé Blanchaud, father and son, were the official photographers of the Cavalry School during the first half of the 20th century. The father, Zacharie (1864-19 ..), born in Vignols, in Corrèze, had come to Saumur in 1892 to join the Cavalry School as a riding instructor. He eventually gave up his boots to become a photographer in 1902, replacing the school photographer, Francis Voelcker. His son Hervé (1891-19 ..) joined the studio in 1911. From then on, they documented the field maneuvers of the regiments, training sessions, horse races, carousels, official ceremonies and relaxing moments.
The Blanchaud studio immortalized General Decarpentry, then a mere colonel, in beautiful poses during the piafe and passage. These images served to illustrate the methodical observations of the famous general in his work Préparation aux épreuves de dressage – Piaffer et Pasage published in 1932.
The Blanchauds also did many portraits of personalities and views of the city. Many of his images were published as postcards until the Second World War, which can be seen in the photographic collection of the ENE media library or in the Saumur City Archives.
The collections can be consulted online in the Saumur archives and on the IFCE portal:
- Illustrated books
- The Archives of the city of Saumur
- The iconographic documents of the IFCE