Sanson, Raoul



Person (Male)

Alternative name or descriptor

  • Photographie Eclair (generally); Phot. Chimiste (Rue Paul Delvaux)

Standardized form(s) of name according to other rules


  • Professional / Connected


Life dates

Caudebec-lez-Elboeuf [Seine-Maritime, F], 1861 - Oissel [Seine-Maritime, F], 1941


1885 - 1887 Bruxelles, Place Sainte-Gudule, 3
Predecessor: Donat Alphonse
Raoul Adrien Grimoin, known as Grimoin - Sanson and trading as Sanson, ° 7.5.1861; + November 1941. Photographer and chemist. Initially listed in the foreigners' register in 1882 as a teacher, his profession was subsequently given as a photographer in June 1887 and chemist in July 1891. According to his autobiography "Le Film de ma vie", published in 1926, he was a violinist in the Kursaal orchestra in Ostend, where he also worked as a magician in 1883.
1887 - 1894 Bruxelles, Rue Paul Devaux, 16
Successor: Maurin François #
Photographed the funeral of Crown Prince Baudouin in 1890. Later claimed to have set himself up as an expert in Bertillon-system anthropometry for the Belgian justice administration in 1891-1892. Patent of 15.6.1894 for "a new system of rapid photo-engraving" for intaglio printing.
1893 Bruxelles, Place Sainte-Gudule, 15
Operated here according to the Rosez directory, before returning to France the following year. Registered a printing firm "Sanson - Grimoin, Garnier et Compagnie" in Paris [F] on 15.5.1894, in partnership with Louis Jules Garnier, a photoengraver in Sèvres, which was dissolved on 7.8.1894. At his wedding in Brussels on 12.1.1895, Sanson was recorded as a photographer living in Paris. He was operating around this time at Avenue du Maine, 27. Also in 1895, Grimoin - Sanson acquired a pirated Edison kinetoscope which inspired his pioneering efforts in the field of cinematography. His own rudimentary camera/projector combination was patented as the "Phototachygraphe" and exhibited at the "Exposition nationale et coloniale" in Rouen in 1896. Grimoin - Sanson went on to invent a panoramic film projection system comprising ten synchronised projectors. The "Cinéorama" was patented on 27.11.1897 and a company formed to market it. A "Cinéorama" was installed at the Paris "Exposition universelle" in 1900 but the installation malfunctioned. His company went bankrupt and its equipment was sold off in 1901. Grimoin - Sanson was recorded as an engineer living in Brussels in February 1900 and was subsequently active in the fabric and rubber industries, supplying material for gas masks from his factory in Nanterre [F] in 1911.


1885 - 1887 Bruxelles, Place Sainte-Gudule, 3
1887 - 1894 Bruxelles, Rue Paul Devaux, 16
1893 Bruxelles, Place Sainte-Gudule, 15


Genres / subject matter



GIANATI, Maurice. "Les débuts au cinématographe de Raoul Grimoin-Sanson (1895-1899)" in: Sur les pas de Marey : science(s) et cinéma, edited by Thierry Lefebvre, Jacques Malthête & Laurent Mannoni, Paris, 2004, pp. 253-282.




Record source


Identity of institution

FotoMuseum Provincie Antwerpen


Level of detail

Dates of creation/revision

SFJ revised 9.9.2019 based on information supplied by M. Demaeght; SFJ revised 15.10.2019 & 6.1.2020




Maintenance notes