Fr. Alphonse Fortier Paris--L' Hotel de Ville et le Pont d'Arcole
Medium Salt print from albumen wet plate negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1851-52 Print Date 1851-52
Dimensions 9-1/2 x 14-7/16 in. (241 x 367 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
A rather spectacular and early image of the Hotel de Ville with a glassed-in barge in the river and the old bridge still in place. The bridge shown in the photograph was constructed in 1828, but was destroyed in a flood in 1854 and rebuilt the following year.
Photo is stamped "Leon Lefebvre" at the lower right corner of the recto of the mount. Lefebvre was apparently a distributor, printer, publisher and author--not the photographer.
Fortier exhibited at the 1856 Exposition de Buxelles and the Societe Francaise de Photographie's (S.F.P.) 1857 and 1867 expositions. After making daguerreotypes, he used albumen and collodion glass negatives. Blanquart Evrard published many of his images, including this one, although this is not a Blanquart Evrard print.
Provenance: from the collection of Duc de Luynes; through his heirs. Duc de Luynes (Honoré Théodore Paul Joseph d'Albert, duc de Luynes (Paris, December 15, 1802-Rome, December 15, 1867) was highly interested in archeology, numismatics, art, architecture and photography; and he collected all of these articles. He sponsored a major contest for the first method of easy printing of photography and also sponsored numerous photographers and their work, often bringing photographers on his travels, such as the one to Lebanon and Palestine in 1864, when he brought the amateur photographer Louis Vignes along to take photographs of the trip. He sponsored the Bisson brothers on their trip to Italy to document the major architectural ruins and important building there. The duke's collection of 19th-century photography is considered the most important such collection of that period.
See: Jammes, Blanquart-Evrard et les Origines de l'Edition Photographique Francaise, pl.349, p.239.
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