Posts Tagged ‘Baron Haussmann’

As I mentioned a few posts back, we went to the Metropolitan Museum when we were in New York. We saw a show from the dawn of photography, pictures of a lost Paris by Charles Marville. I greatly admired the angles, the light and shadow, the crispness of the images. Someday I want to try imitating his use of doorways and windows.

Karen Rosenberg writes about Marville in the NY Times, “In the massive construction site that was late-19th-century Paris, the photographer Charles Marville was just a few steps ahead of the wrecking ball. As an official city photographer working under Napoleon III and his controversial urban planner, Baron Haussmann, Marville recorded some 425 views of narrow, picturesque streets that were to be replaced by Haussmann’s grand boulevards.” More here.

The Met’s site adds, “By the end of the 1850s, Marville had established a reputation as an accomplished and versatile photographer. … Marville photographed the city’s oldest quarters, and especially the narrow, winding streets slated for demolition. Even as he recorded the disappearance of Old Paris, Marville turned his camera on the new city that had begun to emerge.

“Many of his photographs celebrate its glamour and comforts, while other views of the city’s desolate outskirts attest to the unsettling social and physical changes wrought by rapid modernization.” More at the website, here.

Catch the show by May 4.

Photo: Charles Marville
Rue de Constantine in 1866, one of a hundred photos of a lost Paris are now on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York

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