Compiegne. The world of photography in mourning after the disappearance of Jean-Marie Berthélémy

Compiegne. The world of photography in mourning after the disappearance of Jean-Marie Berthélémy

The funeral ceremony of Jean-Marie Berthélémy will take place on Tuesday July 26, at 10 a.m., in the Saint-Paul des Sablons church in Compiègne.- Photo: Jean-Pierre Ginson

Compiégnois photographers mourn one of their own. Jean-Marie Berthélémy died on Wednesday July 20, at the Compiègne hospital center. He was 73 years old. With him, a whole era disappears. But not friendship. Many will be on Tuesday July 26 to attend the funeral ceremony, scheduled for 10 a.m. in the Saint-Paul des Sablons church. The photographers have planned to make a guard of honor, camera and telephoto lens in hand.

Two names have reigned over the photo in Compiègne: the Hutins, always present on Place Saint-Jacques, and the Fontaines, Place de l’Hôtel de Ville. It was at the Fontaine studio, which no longer exists, that Jean-Marie Berthélémy began professionally. When, around 1975, this studio closed, Jean-Marie Berthélémy opened his own with François Bono. “Le studio 60” will revolutionize the printing of photography. “They did weddings or even industrial photography. But they stood out with the development of the Agfachrome slide: we deposited it in the morning and we had the photos taken in the evening, whereas elsewhere, we had to wait several days”, recalls Jean-Luc Grandvallet, member of Photo Video Compiegne Club (PVCC).

From Studio 60 to the forest

After the departure of François Bono, Jean-Marie Berthélémy installs “Le Studio 60” rue de Pierrefonds. “He specialized in portraits. It was renowned for their high quality», continues Jean-Luc Grandvallet. But the artistic qualities of this photographer and his passions did not stop there. After retiring about ten years ago, he devoted himself to wildlife photography. “Superb photos… He spent hours in the forest“recalls Jean-Luc. “He went there almost every day. He was able to wait four or five hours at the same crossroads to get his photoconfirms Jean-Pierre Gilson, another well-known photographer from Compiégnois. “Fifty years of friendship … It’s a shock“, he breathes. They had known each other in the early days of the PVCC. “He often made the prints for my exhibitions. We saw each other often.»

For Jean-Luc, Jean-Marie was “the cream of the guys, a super talent. He liked to transmit to young people. A real communicator“. Jean-Pierre agrees with this: “he had his heart on his sleeve“.

Jean-Marie Berthélémy, whose health had seriously declined lately, had entrusted a mission to his friend Gilson, who is one of the last to have seen him. “He asked me to dig into his archives and put his photos on his Facebook account“. Some shots will accompany the deceased during the ceremony which many people are expected to attend on Tuesday. Jean-Marie Berthélémy will then be buried in the southern cemetery of Compiègne.

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