Chance encounters with Australian art

A chance encounter at a recent art auction viewing re-acquainted me with the lovely work of Dora Wilson, and I was delighted to find her work well represented in our own collections, as well as some personal papers and a myriad of exhibition catalogues.

Dora Wislon: Corner of Spring and Bourke Streets, Melbourne

Dora Wilson: Corner of Spring and Bourke Streets, Melbourne, c.1930-39

Born in England in 1883, she lived most of her life in Melbourne and spent a great deal of her time documenting the city and its environs in a series of beautiful paintings and sketches, culminating in her show Milestones of Melbourne at the Fine Art Society’s Gallery in 1935.

 

Fine Arts Society building, 100 Exhibition Street

Fine Arts Society building, 100 Exhibition Street

 

Known for her bright, vibrant style of painting she was an unashamed realist whose best work strikes me as presenting Melbourne as a sun filled, colourful and bustling 19th century metropolis moving comfortably into the modern era.

After the shower, Spring Street, 1937

After the shower, Spring Street, 1937

 

Apart from the sheer pleasure works like these can give, they also bear witness to the changing face of the city; is that our Dome peeking out amongst the buildings on the left in this charming picture of St. Francis’ Church?

St. Francis' Church, Melbourne, c.1935

St. Francis’ Church, Melbourne, c.1935

During her studies at the National Gallery School in the early years of the 20th century, Dora became interested in etching and studied with John Mather, also represented in our collections. She was one of the first women to apply herself to this medium in Australia, and her prints demonstrate the same freshness that radiates from her paintings.

Ships at anchor, 1904

Ships at anchor, 1904

 

Unidentified light house on a cliff,c. 1900-10

Unidentified light house on a cliff,c. 1900-10

Lovely things. It’s amazing what a chance encounter can lead to, don’t you think?

To finish, a rather appropriate painting by John Mather

John Mather: Sir Redmond Barry's residence off Bourke Street, 1915

John Mather: Sir Redmond Barry’s residence off Bourke Street, 1915

 

The cat

I knew that my post on dogs in art would trigger a feline response…..

Spend any time on the internet and you could be forgiven for thinking everyone likes cats and they always have. Leonardo de Vinci declared “the smallest feline is a masterpiece”. Jean Cocteau described cats as the visible soul of one’s home.

"Libraries are so broadening", by Deidre Hunt. Cover image Dine Impessions of the Cat
“Libraries are so broadening”, by Deidre Hunt. Cover image – Dine Impessions of the Cat. Wodonga, Vic: 1990

Well, nearly everyone. This post is from the celebrated 18th century blogger and naturalist, Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon.

THE cat is an unfaithful domestic, and kept only from the necessity we find of opposing him to other domestics still more incommodious and which cannot be hunted; for we value not those people, who, being fond of all brutes, foolishly keep cats for their amusement. Though these animals, when young, are frolicsome and beautiful, they possess, at the same time, an innate malice, and perverse disposition, which increase as they grow up, and which education learns them to conceal, but not subdue. From determined robbers, the best education can only convert them into flattering thieves; for they have the same address, subtlety and desire for plunder.

Cats in ukiyo-e. Tokyo: 2012
Cats in ukiyo-e. Tokyo: 2012

They easily assume the habits of society, but never acquire its manners; for they have only the appearance of attachment or friendship. This disengenuity of character is betrayed by the obliquity of their movements, and the duplicity of their eyes. They never look their best benefactor in the face; but, either from distrust or falseness, they approach him by windings, in order to procure caresses, in which they have no other pleasure than what arises from flattering those who bestow them.

The form and temperament of the cat’s body perfectly accord with his temper and dispositions. He is jolly, nimble, dexterous, cleanly, and voluptuous. He loves ease, and chooses the softest and warmest situations for repose.

Medieval cats. London: 2011
Medieval cats. London: 2011

Young cats are gay, vivacious, and frolicsome, and, if nothing was to be apprehended from their claws, would afford excellent amusement for children. But their toying, although always light and agreeable, is never altogether innocent, and is soon converted into habitual malice. As their talents can only be exerted with advantage against small animals, they lie in wait, with great patience and perseverance, to seize birds, mice and rats, and without instruction, become more expert hunters than the best trained dogs.

Cats on quilts. New York: 2000

Cats on quilts. New York: 2000

They have a natural antipathy to water, cold and bad smells. They are fond of basking in the sun and of lying in warm places. They are also fond of perfumes, and willingly allow themselves to be taken and caressed by persons who carry aromatic substances. They are so delighted with valerian root that it seems to throw them into a transport of pleasure.

Cats in the Louvre. Paris: 2007
Cats in the Louvre. Paris: 2007

Cats eat slowly, and with difficulty: their teeth are so short and ill placed, that they can tear, but not grind their food. Hence they always prefer the most tender victuals, as fishes, which they devour either raw or boiled. They drink frequently; their sleep is light; and they often assume the appearance of sleeping, when they are only meditating mischief.

Curious cats in the National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourn: 2012
Curious cats in the National Gallery of Victoria. Melbourne: 2012

Cats walk softly, without making any noise. As their hair in always clean and dry, it is easily electrified, and the sparks become visible when it is rubbed across with the hand in the dark. Their eyes also sparkle in the dark like diamonds, and seem to throw out, in the night, the light they imbibe during the day.

The Cat in art. New York: 2007
The Cat in art. New York: 2007

Though cats live in our houses, they are not entirely domestic. Even the tamest cats are not under the smallest subjection, but may rather be said to enjoy perfect liberty; for they act to please themselves only; and it is impossible to retain them a moment after they choose to go off. Besides, most cats are half wild. As the cat may be considered only half domestic; he forms the shade between domestic and wild animals.

Cats, wild and domestic, from Buffon's Natural History, V.4, London:1812
Cats, wild and domestic, from “Buffon’s Natural History”, V.4, London:1812

Translated, with notes and observations by William Smellie, member of the Antiquarian and Royal Societies of Edinburgh. Adapted and edited for the State Library of Victoria by Dominique Dunstan, Arts Collection  Librarian, member of the National Gallery of Victoria and Melbourne Zoological Gardens

 

Paris and its people: “La plus ça change…”

Anna Welch from our History of the Book collection whets our appetite for all things Victor Hugo:

To complement the library’s upcoming major new exhibition in the Keith Murdoch Gallery, Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables: From Page to Stage (18 July – 9 November), some French rarities from the State Library of Victoria’s collection are currently on display in our permanent exhibition, Mirror of the World.

The Atlas des anciens plans de Paris (Atlas of ancient maps of Paris; Paris, Imprimerie nationale, 1800) shows the French capital as it was in the medieval period, a walled city surrounded by farmland. This atlas, along with other books recording the administrative mapping of Paris, was donated to the people of Victoria by the French Government in 1881, following the International Exhibition that was held in Melbourne. Also part of this donation was Charles Marville’s Photographic Views of Paris, which recorded the city before, during and after its modernising renovations (1853–70) by Baron Haussmann, Napoléon III’s chief urban planner. Two original Marville prints are on display in Mirror of the World, with 27 others on display in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables: From Page to Stage.

Atlas des anciens plans de Paris, 1800

Atlas des anciens plans de Paris, 1800

Although the city of Paris changed radically during Hugo’s lifetime, its remodelling coincided almost exactly with the period of his political exile from France, as an opponent of Napoléon III (1851–70). Les Misérables was written between 1845 and 1862, but is set 1815–33, in a vanished city.

To populate his vision of this lost Paris in his great novel, Victor Hugo drew on established character ‘types’ that embodied generic figures of mid-19th-century French society. Such character types were instantly recognisable to Hugo’s original readership, having been popularised by illustrated French encyclopaedias published from early 1840s onwards. These books frequently reproduced images that were derived from earlier (often 17th-century) sources. A volume of one such encyclopaedia, Les Français peints par eux-mêmes; types et potraites humoristiques a la plume e la crayon (The French painted by themselves; types and humourous portraits in pen and pencil; Paris, J. Phillippart, c. 1877) is currently on display in the Mirror of the World. It was edited by Honoré de Balzac, one of Hugo’s contemporaries and himself a major author. It features drawings, such as this humourous typology of poets, by Paul Gavarni, Jacques Callot, Jean Louis Ernest Meissonier, and many others.

Les Français peints par eux-mêmes, 1876-78

Les Français peints par eux-mêmes, 1876-78

The description for one, ‘The Romantic’, cheekily claims “He assures us that, if he (only) took the trouble, he would eclipse Victor Hugo; but for now he is content to relax by writing more serious studies, through poetry.” The caricature bears more than a passing resemblance to some famous portraits of Hugo, head in hand, which can be seen in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables: From Page to Stage.

The Romantic type

The Romantic type

Anna Welch

To find out more about all things Hugo check out our marvellous Research Guide

New Listening: Mozart, Blunt, Buble & Trio

Some new CD arrivals feature on the Listening Posts in Arts.  They include recent releases in pop, rock, country, opera and world music. The online catalogue indicates which Listening Post the CD is available on.

There are eight jukebox listening posts in the Arts Reading Room, where you can listen to CDs from the audiovisual collection.

25 years : the chain : hit and rarities by Fleetwood Mac.

Warner Bros, 2012

Warner Bros, 1992, 2012

 

Like Clockwork by Queen’s of the Stone Age.

Matador Inertia, 2013

Matador Inertia, 2013

 

To be loved by Michael Buble.

Warner Music Australia, 2013

Warner Music Australia, 2013

Superstar group Fleetwod Mac celebrate 25 years on The Chain in a compilation of popular tracks such as Tusk, Sara and Gypsy – great memories!  English rock supremo, James Blunt, features on Moon Landing, to be performed on his forthcoming World Tour.   Legendary crooner, Michael Buble, has a new hit release with To Be Loved, that includes vintage standards such as It’s a beautiful day, and duets with Reese Witherspoon and Bryan Adams on Something stupid and After all.

There is also Like Clockwork by US heavy metal band, Queen’s of the Stone AgeTraces of you features sitarist and composer, Anoushka Shankar, daughter of the legendary Ravi Shankar and half-sister of singer-songwriter, Norah Jones, who performs vocals on three tracks.  There is also the wonderful country-pop music Trio of Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris, and a collection of Mozart Arias performed by Australian Opera singer, Emma Matthews.

Traces of you by Anoushka Shankar.

Deutsche Grammophon, 2013

Deutsche Grammophon, 2013

 

Moon landing by James Blunt.

Warner Music, [2013]

Warner Music, [2013]

 

Trio by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

Warner Bros. 1987, 1990

Warner Bros. 1987, 1990

 

Mozart Arias by Emma Matthews.

ABC/Universal, 2014

ABC/Universal, 2014

 

And don’t forget to try out our music and video streaming databases, which you can find right here!

 

Group of people using listening post in Arts room © Andrew Lloyd

Group of people using listening post in Arts room © Andrew Lloyd

 

Woof woof woof: or the dog in art…..woof

Now for some total self-indulgence! Having just welcomed two beautiful Whippets into the family (don’t get me started…), it seems like the ideal time to explore the central, if under-appreciated, place of the dog in art.

Dogs in Australian art : a new history of antipodean creativity by Steven Miller

Wakefield Press, 2012

Wakefield Press, 2012

Steven Miller is one of the few local art historians to clearly recognise the central place our canine companions occupy in the history of Australian art: “The various stylistic shifts which have occurred, the debates about abstraction and figuration, the rivalries between schools and cities are attributed to sociological, historical and personal factors, when the real cause was all the while sitting under our tables.”. Sensibly arranged by breed so that you can immediately go to the Ws (or wherever else you choose), the author’s commentary manages to be both entertaining and enlightening on both the dogs and the artwork, with more than a little Australian history thrown in for good measure. Really delightful!

The dog : 5000 years of the dog in art by Tamsin Pickeral

Merrell, 2008

Merrell, 2008

5000 years of dogs in art, heaven! This large and beautifully illustrated volume charts the visual depiction of the dog from cave paintings right through to the here-and-now. The chapters are arranged thematically rather than chronologically, so we get the religious dog, the domestic dog, the hunting dog, the Romantic dog, etc., etc. As a work of art/historical scholarship it’s quite amazing, but it is also deeply imbued with the author’s passion for all things canine and is full of surprisingly moving imagery; Theodore Gericault’s Portrait of a Bulldog is a remarkably touching depiction of a fellow usually assigned the tough-guy role.

Theodore Gericault Portrait of a Bulldog, 1816-18

Theodore Gericault: Portrait of a Bulldog, 1816-18

Dogs in the Louvre by François Nourissier, Élisabeth Foucart-Walter

Flammarion, 2007

Flammarion, 2007

The French have a wonderfully relaxed attitude regarding dogs and where they can and can’t go, and even the mighty Louvre is full of them; on the walls at least! I think my favourite in this casual dog-spotting exercise is the benign mutt partially hidden behind a seated figure in Louis Le Nain’s painting, The Cart: sweet old thing.

Louis Le Nain, The Cart, 1641

Louis Le Nain: The Cart, 1641

 

Best in show : the dog in art from the Renaissance to today: Edgar Peters Bowron, et. al.

Yale University Press, 2006

Yale University Press, 2006

This lovely book was published in conjunction with an exhibition of the same name (who could resist?) held at the Bruce Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2006. Taking as its starting point some of those wonderful, noble hounds that populate so many Renaissance landscapes and portraits, its main emphasis rests on depictions from the 19th century onwards when artists from Edwin Landseer to Lucien Freud happily moved the dog from the background into the centre of the frame; quite right!

 

A soldier’s best friend, from our Picture Collection:

Australian soldier with a dog by Charles Edward Boyles

Australian soldier with a dog by Charles Edward Boyles

New soundtracks: Gravity, Cromwell, Superman, and more.

New CD arrivals feature on the Listening Posts in Arts.  They include some great film soundtrack releases. The online catalogue indicates which Listening Post the CD is available on. There are eight jukebox listening posts in the Arts Reading Room, where you can listen to CDs from the audiovisual collection.

Cromwell : complete score & original 1970 motion picture soundtrack, composed and conducted by Frank Cordell.

Intrada, 2012

Intrada, 2012, 1970

 

Gravity : original motion picture soundtrack, music by Steven Price.

WaterTower Music, 2013

WaterTower Music, 2013

 

The book thief : original motion picture soundtrack, composed and conducted by John Williams.

Sony Classical, 2013

Sony Classical, 2013

A wonderful selection of film soundtracks are among recent arrivals into the collection.  These include definitive re-releases with bonus tracks of original classic movie scores from epics such as True Grit featuring music by Elmer Bernstein, and Cromwell with a magnificent score composed and conducted by Frank Cordell.  The opening Main Title track on Cromwell is a dramatic combination of full orchestra and choir that is well worth a listen.  The recent reissue of the Murder on the Orient Express soundtrack features music by acclaimed British composer Richard Rodney Bennett, also known for his Four Weddings and a Funeral score.

There are also soundtracks for recent movie blockbusters such as Gravity, Superman Returns and The Book Thief with music by legendary film composer John Williams of Star Wars, Harry Potter, ET, Jaws and Close Encounters fame.

Murder on the Orient Express : original film soundtrack, music by Richard Rodney Bennett.

Capitol, 2013

Capitol, 2013

 

Superman returns : music from the motion picture, composed by John Ottman.

Warner Bros./Rhino, 2013

Warner Bros.,Rhino, 2013

 

True grit : music from the motion picture, composed and conducted by Elmer Bernstein.

La La Land Records, 2013

La La Land Records, 2013, 1969

Group of people using listening post in Arts room © Andrew Lloyd

Group of people using listening post in Arts room © Andrew Lloyd

 

Also check out Contemporary World Music, one of our online databases for the following recent release of classic movie themes, available for anyone to use here in the Library via the website.  If you’re one of our Victorian registered users you can log in from home and explore at your leisure!

Six Degrees Records, 2007

Six Degrees Records, 2007

 

Music here, there and everywhere: on a stream near you!

It is simply amazing the type of library we can have in our own homes, and without taking up all that shelf space!

 

Arthaus/Naxos

Arthaus/Naxos

This opera gala from Cologne comes from 2005 and was a benefit performance in support of the German AIDS Foundation. Apart from the marvellous lineup of singers, where else are you going to see and hear Spanish baritone Carlos Alvarez sing Bless Your Bautiful Hide from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers! Local music-lovers will be interested to see Markus Stenz wielding the baton. Thanks once again to the ever growing Naxos Video Library for this, and many other, terrific arts documentaries and performances.

 

Arc Music/Alexander Street Press

Arc Music/Alexander Street Press

Okay I admit it, I’ve been known to follow pipe bands around the city in a type of celtic daze, and you will either understand that or not. Whilst the effect is never quite the same on record, the sound of massed pipes and drums can still be pretty stirring to the bagpipe inclined, so why not choose a band to suit your bonnie wee fancy from the Alexander Street Press Contemporary World Music collection, and get marching. Just don’t look back……

 

Blue Note/Naxos

Blue Note/Naxos

The Naxos Jazz Library is a real treasure trove of the great, the good and the unbearably cool, and Bobby Darin certainly fits into that last category, and probably the other two as well! Multi-talented and almost quintessentially hip, Darin had one of those effortless voices that just seemed tailor-made for jazz, and to hear him spin one of those classic American songs is to be transported to the same realm inhabited by the likes of Frank Sinatra and Mel Torme. Coooooool……….

 

Erato/Naxos

Erato/Naxos

Despite the fact that he only managed to write one opera, Fidelio (and what an opera it is!), Beethoven was a dab hand at churning out overtures; he wrote four for Fidelio alone. You can listen to all four of these, plus four non-Fidelio ones (you know what I mean), here via the Naxos Music Library. These exhilirating performances conducted by British wunderkind Daniel Harding positively leap out at you and we can sometimes forget, with our historical distance, just how “modern” and confronting Beethoven’s music must have been to an audience still steeped in the more polite Classical era.

You can access these, and other treasures, from home if you’re one of our registered Victorian Library members.

 

Bobby Darin journeys to Oz, by train…..

 

New books: pulps, punks and posters

 The mining of popular culture continues apace……

Alternative movie posters : film art from the underground by Matthew Chojnacki

Schiffer Pub. Limited, 2014

Schiffer Pub. Limited, 2014

No, not posters for “alternative” movies, but alternative posters for mainstream movies. The author, a self-confessed film geek, has brought together his love of the movies and the movie poster in this splendid collection of rethought imagery for a host of classic (and not so classic) films. Taking the view that the art of the film poster has been in decline since the 1990s, he demonstrates how a kind of graphic-design subculture has developed wherein artists from around the world have been creating the posters they feel their favourite movies deserve, rather than received. The results range from the bizarre to the truly inspired, and it’s fascinating to read the artists’ own reflections on their work and the films that have inspired them.

The secret history of Marvel Comics by Blake Bell and Michael J. Vassallo

Fantagraphics, 2013

Fantagraphics, 2013

The multi-million dollar business that is Marvel Comics today (recently bought by Disney for around 4 billion dollars!) was not always quite so glamorous or remunerative. Its origin as Timely Publications, working within the lower depths of the 1930s pulp industry, was hardly indicative of what it was (many years later) to become. This fascinating, and visually arresting, history of these early years shows with remarkable clarity the close family ties that have always existed between the worlds of comic books and pulp magazines. Shazam!

Punk 45 : the singles cover art of punk 1975-80: edited by Jon Savage & Stuart Baker

Soul Jazz Books, 2013

Soul Jazz Books, 2013

The authors here make the interesting point that the vinyl single was the ideal format for Punk: “Nothing facilitated more easily the insistent impulse to make your statement immediately, before the opportunity disappeared. You’ve only got two songs and a few hundred quid? Fine. Nothing better encapsulated punk’s speed and compression…”. And that same manic drive was also responsible for the look of Punk right around the world, gloriously on display here in cover art of an almost relentlessly ferocious originality.

The 100 best albums of all time by Toby Creswell & Craig Mathieson

Hardie Grant, 2013

Hardie Grant, 2013

Who doesn’t love a good 100-best list, even if it’s just to strongly disagree with? These two rock journalists have history in the field, having put together a similarly brave tome for Australian albums. Casting their net further afield this time, they nominate their 100 best on a global scale and provide enough fodder for many a passionate debate between sets at the local venue. Be warned though (no matter what you think) their thoughtful rationale makes it none too easy to dismiss their opinions!

A classic film poster from our Picture Collection:

Eureka Stockade, 1949

Eureka Stockade, 1949

 

 

New ebooks in Arts: Zines, would you believe

A lot of people involved in the zine community would say that digitising zines takes away something intrinsic – the kinesthetic and unique appreciation of the physical object – and that the method of consumption thereafter will be excessively altered, making it a completely different experience than was intended by the creator. They’d probably also say that people would wrongly identify such digital objects as e-zines. And, in my view, they’d be right. Zines are ephemeral objects that aren’t made to last, and in many cases were not made with the idea in mind that they’d one day leave a digital footprint (even, and sometimes especially, in terms of the zines made well into the digital age).  This doesn’t completely devalue and/or undermine the importance of digital versions of zines, mind you. Provided they’re done with the creator’s consent, they can be a brilliant resource. Take, for example, the tireless efforts of the Queer Zine Archive Project in Milwaukee, which has spent many years working to ensure that such classic works of dissident queer literature such as JDs are preserved for future historians. They’d be the first to admit that a scan of such works will not transfer the experience of consumption that the creator intended, especially insomuch as the distribution would often dictate which town the zine would often be read in. But the information still has value, and so long as these compromises are acknowledged by the reader, plenty can still be made of absorbing a zine through a metaphorical telescope.

That rant now calmly leads us to some new treasures in the Arts Collection’s new ebook arrivals, this week courtesy of US-based zine and independent publication distro, Microcosm Publishing. Most of these titles are not themselves zines, though started their lives as such, and wound up somewhat immortalised in these compilations, much like was done with the world-renowned Melbourne-based zine, You, by indie publishers Breakdown Press a little under a decade ago. The first of note here is this compilation of the rather successfully minimalist punk-comic-zine, Snake Pit.

Keeping the punk theme and anecdotal approach, though (mostly) losing the comic angle, is this Burn Collector anthology. Although covering a number of themes consistent with the previous title, it’s closer lingering on difficult topics that often fall into the domain of perzine writing give it a less casually intimate feel, heightening, in many ways, the connection with the creator.

Taking a somewhat side-step to the sometimes adjacent world of comics, another new set of Microcosm titles give us insight into the RPS title Henry & Glenn Forever, which imagines the domestic dramas of Henry Rollins and Glenn Danzig as a couple. Oh, and Hall and Oates get a unique re-painting, too, along with a plethora of hardcore celebrities. You can check out issues one and two in our ebook collection here and here.

The final title of this bundle comes from the pen of Microcosm founder, Joe Biel, and contains interviews with a wide selection of people about their experiences with and responses to the punk scene. Although punk doesn’t have to involve zines, and zines don’t need to involve punk, the two tend to share common ground often enough, so this books inclusion in this list isn’t too far outside the Venn I’ve been peddling here.

If you’re a bit stuck about how to access these titles, whether inside the Library or remotely, just give this guide a quick squiz, and you should be quickly back on the right path.

Charles Marville and the changing face of Paris

Marville: Autoportrait, 1861

Charles Marville: Autoportrait, 1861

With the State Library’s major Victor Hugo exhibition coming up in July, the name of Charles Marville has been getting mentioned in despatches recently. One of the very greatest photographers of the 19th century, Marville (real name Charles Francois Bossu) initially tried his hand as an illustrator during the great flowering of illustrated journals and newspapers of the day, but soon turned his hand to the new process of photography. Employed to document the changing face of Paris during the remarkable transformation of the city under Baron Haussmann, Marville’s extraordinary photographs capture not just a city in transition, but a city frozen in time between two radically different eras. Utterly remarkable!

Charles Marville : photographer of Paris by Sarah Kennel

University of Chicago Press, 2013

University of Chicago Press, 2013

This beautiful book was released last year to coincide with the exhibition of Charles Marville’s photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington.  A collaboration between French and American scholars, the book presents new research into Marvilles life and career, and contains beautiful reproductions of his photographs.

By a serendipitous act of history the State Library of Victoria holds a large collection of Charles Marville’s photographs.  These were sent to Australia by the French Government in 1879 for the Sydney International Exhibition, and then exhibited the following year at the Melbourne International Exhibition of 1880. Rather than pay the cost of freighting the material back home the French Government made a gift of many items from the exhibition to what was then the Melbourne Public Library.

 

Marville: Rue de l'Arcade (de la rue St. Lazare)

Marville: Rue de l’Arcade (de la rue St. Lazare)

 

The photographs are bound in two heavy volumes, one titled Edicules etablis sur la voise publique (small public edifices) and the other Eclairage au gas (gas lighting).  There is also a collection of unbound pages where the photographs are mounted on both sides of distinctive blue card. As this new book explains these were originally exhibited in glass frames hinged around a central pole.  People viewed the photographs by turning the glass frames to view the images on either side. This extraordinary collection has been digitised by the library and can be seen here.

Vue du parc des Buttes Chaumont d'après un dessin

Marville: Vue du parc des Buttes Chaumont

The 19th century transformation of Paris is a remarkable story in itself.

Haussmann : his life and times, and the making of modern Paris by Michel Carmona

I. R. Dee, 2002

I. R. Dee, 2002