Édouard Baldus

French, born Germany (Grünebach, Prussia [now Germany], 1813 - 1889, Paris, France)

Amiens (vue générale) (Amiens [General View])

1855
photograph | salt print from a paper negative
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  • Amiens (vue générale) (Amiens [General View])

    Édouard Baldus, Amiens (vue générale) (Amiens [General View]), 1855; salt print from a paper negative, 12 1/8 in. x 17 5/16 in. (30.8 cm x 43.97 cm); Collection SFMOMA, Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, fractional gift of Paul Sack, and collection of the Sack Photographic Trust;


In 1855 Baron James de Rothschild, principle investor in the French rail line Chemin de Fer du Nord, commissioned Baldus to make prints for a souvenir album documenting Queen Victoria's historic trip through northern France.

The trip, which began at Boulogne-sur-Mer on the English Channel and ended in Paris, signified the newfound economic cooperation and personal friendship between the queen and the French emperor Napoléon III. It also gave France the opportunity to show off the country's modern railroads to its trading partner. Baldus's album included fifty views of railway stations, cathedrals, and other historic sites along the queen's route, all bound in a sumptuous leather book with maps and a hand-painted title page.

Queen Victoria and Prince Philip, who were photography enthusiasts, were familiar with Baldus's work before he made the album. He had established his reputation making photographic surveys of France's architectural heritage for the Missions Héliographiques, a government program designed to document ancient monuments for future preservation.


12 1/8 in. x 17 5/16 in. (30.8 cm x 43.97 cm)
Acquired 1995
Collection of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, fractional gift of Paul Sack, and collection of the Sack Photographic Trust
95.379

Tags

cathedrals, scaffolding, cityscapes, houses, buildings, businesses, France


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