Palais du Louvre et des Tuileries Motifs de Decorations, Vol I & II Folios, 1870


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Palais du Louvre et des Tuileries
Motifs de Decorations
Tires des Constructios Executées au Nouveau Louvre et au Palais des Tuileries
Sous la Direction de Mr. H. Lefuel
Architecte de l'Empereur
Heliogravuer par E. Baldus
17. Rue D'Assas, Paris

Hector-Martin Lefuel (14 November 1810 - 31 December 1880) was a French architect, best known for his work on the Palais du Louvre, including Napoleon III's Louvre expansion and the reconstruction of the Pavillon de Flore. Following the sudden death of the architect Louis-Tullius-Joachim Visconti in 1853, Lefuel was placed in charge of the ambitious project of completing the Louvre. He kept Visconti's project but enriched it in profuse ornamental detail and completed the project in record time for opening in August 1857, one of the showpieces of the Second Empire. Napoleon III then tasked him with the reconstruction of the Pavillon de Flore and much of the Grande Galerie, which he completed by the late 1860s. Lefuel's work at the Louvre became an exemplar of the nascent Second Empire architectural style. Lefuel also created lavish apartments for the imperial household in the Palais des Tuileries, lost when that palace burned in the Paris Commune of 1871.

Excerpt from the Metropolitan Museum of Art, "Baldus first experimented with photography in the late 1840s, when the negative-positive process invented by William Henry Fox Talbot began to flourish in France. By 1851, he was recognized as one of the few photographers to combine aesthetic sensitivity with an astonishing technical prowess in the still experimental and handcrafted medium. So impressive were Baldus' pictures from the standpoint of clarity, beauty, and scale (some, printed from multiple negatives, reached three feet in length), that he quickly won government support for a project entitled Les Villes de France photographiées, an extended series of architectural views in Paris and the provinces designed to feed a resurgent interest in the nation's Roman and medieval past. By 1855, Baldus had established a reputation as the leading architectural photographer in France, and his pictures drew much public attention and critical notice at the 1855 Exposition Universelle in Paris. This year, Baldus began photographing on the work site of the New Louvre, documenting for architect Hector Lefuel every piece of statuary and ornamentation made for the vast complex linking the Louvre and Tuileries palaces. As individual records, these photographs served a practical function on the bustling work site, keeping track of the hundreds of plaster models and carved stones sculpted for the project; but as a collected whole, they formed a new means of comprehending and communicating a complex subject, bit by bit, to be reconstituted by the mind. Only photography-precise, omnivorous, prolific, and rapid-and then only in the hands of an artist both sensitive and rigorous-could produce an archive as a new form of art. Baldus' photographs of the grandest of Napoleon III's building projects were assembled in albums (four volumes in each set) and presented by the emperor to government ministers, the imperial family, and the reigning monarchs of Europe."

To document the construction of the Louvre museum, Baldus used wet and dry paper negatives as large as 10x14 inches in size. From these negatives, he made contact prints. To create a larger image, he put contact prints side by side to create a panoramic effect. He was renowned for the sheer size of his pictures, which ranged up to eight feet long for one panorama from around 1855, made from several negatives.




Publisher: Heliogravure par E. Baldus

Copyright: 1870s-80s



These large folios are in good condition. Hardcover boards containing loose heliogravures. These are antiquarian volumes that have had a long and illustrious journey through time. Please take a look at the pictures to ascertain the condition and state of these folios. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask. Folio boards are worn along edges and corners. The spine is missing and the ribbon closures are torn. The heliogravures contained within are foxed and toned along the edges. Heliogravures in Vol I have evidence of moisture staining along the top corners. Each folio has 99 heliogravures as there are two missing–namely #46 in Vol I and #2 in Vol II. Heliogravure #49 is torn and ripped along the top. -



Item Dimensions: 13.0 inches x 18.0 inches


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