Louis-Émile Durandelle Le Nouvel Opera de Paris, Sculpture Ornementale
Medium Albumen print from wet plate negative
Mount on original mount
Photo Date 1866-75 Print Date 1875c
Dimensions 11 x 14-3/4 in. (279 x 375 mm)
Photo Country France
Photographer Country France
Contact Alex Novak and Marthe Smith
About This Image
Photographer's (Delmart & Durandelle) blindstamp on verso mount. No. 38 reversed out of negative. A rich print.
Durandelle's portfolio is considered to be the definitive work on the Opera at Paris, 'the most exuberant building of its time' (Dictionary of Art, XII, p. 156).
A relative unknown, Charles Garnier won the competition to build the Opera in 1861 as an expression of the wealth and power of Napoleon III's Second Empire. Construction commenced immediately, employing over 90 painters and sculptors for its lavish decorative program alone, and it was completed--under the Third Republic--in 1875.
The celebrated French architectural photographer Durandelle recorded its construction in 'photographs which are a milestone in the use of the medium for extended architectural documentation. They count among the most splendid examples of 19th-century architectural photography.' (C. Phillips, The Construction of the Paris Opéra, exhibition at ICP, New York, 2001).
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