P.H. Benoist (born 1813) was a great artist from France. He is considered to be one the most gifted topographical artists of the 19th century. He was a master painter, lithographer and engraver. He began his career in Paris where he studied and apprenticed under Louis Daguerre, the most influential pioneer of early photography. However, by 1836, Benoist had turned entirely to art exhibiting his views at the Paris Salons. He continued with the exhibitions until 1879, and got several followers.
Many of his paintings were inspired by his own childhood. The paintings not only varied in subject matter but they also varied in size and media. Benoist had a long successful career, receiving continual commissions, and was favored by critics of his day. The technique he used is said to have had a lasting impact on subsequent generations of artists. His intense passion for bright colors and the nature of his subject matter changed the art world forever. As an original lithographic artist, he specialized in interior and exterior views of many famous buildings. He published these in sets, such as Rome dans sa Grandeur, and many more. He published his most notable piece in 1881 - Notre Dame hails from Vues de Paris. The wealth of detailing found in this piece sets his work above other topographical artists of the day. It represents one of his finest undertakings as he painted each lithograph in subtle tones using an extra tint stone. Benoist died in 1885 in Paris.