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One of Baldus's earliest views of the Louvre made from a paper negative.
The Louvre served as an important and monumental subject for many of the well-known photographers of the nineteenth century, but none knew the structure more intimately than Edouard Baldus. Most notably, Baldus was commissioned to document the Louvre's reconstruction period from 1855 through 1857, but his familiarity with its architecture began long before the Second Empire's largest project took hold.
While later views of the completed pavilions were often starkly frontal in their composition, here Baldus approaches the Pavillon Sully from an angle, illustrating the full grandeur of its distinctive domed roof. Completed in 1625 during the Classical Period of Louis XIV, it was originally recognised as the Pavillon de l'Horloge after the clock that remains central to the façade. This photograph, taken while Baldus was still functioning as a member of the Mission Heliographique, makes clear the motivation of the Second Empire to have the Pavillon Sully serve as a model for the newer pavilions added during the reconstruction.
A different print of this image under the title 'Pavillon de l'Horloge, Louvre' is held by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. An alternate view of this portion of the Louvre exists in the collection of The Victoria & Albert Museum.