The People of Gibraltar
1930s - L. Roisin - La Casa de la Postal

Lucien Roisin Besnard

The French photographer Lucien Roisin Besnard was born in 1884. By 1912 he had moved to Barcelona and was soon earning a pretty decent living as a postcard publisher. His shop in No 29 Rambla de Santa Monica became well known commercially as la Casa de la Postal.

La Casa de la Postal - Barcelona

Many of the photographs used in his postcards were taken either by himself or with the help of his nephews Robert and Lucienne Roisin Duc - who kept the business going right up to the 1960s after Lucien’s death in 1943.

The number of different postcards published by Roisin during his lifetime was enormous. The Archivo Historico Fotografico of Cataluña, for example, holds a very incomplete collection of some 77 000 different views of just about every city or picturesque town in Spain. 

It suggests that despite the best efforts of himself and his nephews many of his postcards - especially those involving views outside Cataluña - were probably taken by other photographers who either worked specifically for him or sold their images to his company. I am almost certain this was the case as regards most of those used for his Gibraltar postcards but I have no idea as to who he or she might have been responsible for taking the photographs.

The Rock from the South - signed by L Roisin

As the company produced several Gibraltar runs over the years it is also difficult to know the total number of different views which he used in his postcards. If I was forced to hazard a guess I would say well over 500 including views from Spain and several that appear to have been on sale as photographs rather than postcards.

The name “L Rosin” is printed on most of his work using several slightly different formats. I am again guessing but I think each format refers to different sets published periodically. Postcards within each set are usually numbered - although in some cases the same photograph appears within the same set with a different number while the same number is sometimes used with different photographs. Also I cannot confirm categorically that all those postcards where the name does not appear below the photograph, were in fact published by Roisin.

Finally and for anybody who might be interested - each of the links below contain all those examples of Roisin’s work that I have been able to trace so far under each format.

1930s - L. Roisin - L.Roisin Fotógrafo (See LINK)
1930s - L. Roisin - Fot. L. Roisin (See LINK)
1930s - L. Roisin - L.Rosin-Foto (See LINK)
1930s - L. Roisin - Other Postcards (See LINK)
1930s - L. Roisin - Prints 1 (See LINK)
1930s - L. Roisin - Prints 2 (See LINK)