Baldus returned to the Church of Saint-Germain L'Auxerrois many times, photographing it from various angles and sometimes stripping his negatives of surrounding buildings to illustrate the monumentality of the late Medieval structure. This particular print from 1851 is delicate and beautifully coloured, and offers a true sense of the architectural and ideological change that defined mid-nineteenth century Paris. Through his choice of viewpoint and composition, Baldus suggests the stability of the church as demolition threatens and overruns the buildings immediately to the right.
Conveniently located by the Palais du Louvre, this church was the former parish church of the French monarchy. Haussman would go on to create a square that linked the church with the new town hall of the 1st arrondissement in the 1860s, a decade after Baldus had manipulated negatives to create the same sort of monumental effect in his photographs. After this project was completed, a similar view of the church was painted by Monet in 1867, and continues to be one of his most celebrated paintings of Paris.
Eglise de St. Germain L'Auxerrois, Paris
26.5 x 43.25 cms (10.41 x 17.00 ins)
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