Albumen print from wet collodion negative
Image: 15.3 x 21.4 cm (6 x 8 7/16 in.); Matted: 40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1988.191
Charles Marville made this view of Paris from his apartment.
Marville framed the city so that the dome at Les Invalides—a retirement home and hospital for military veterans—dominates the skyline. Below lie dark, dense neighborhoods where individual buildings are barely discernable. Photographing skies in landscapes was challenging in the 1850s: the light-sensitive coatings were incapable of properly exposing both earth and the heavens in a single shot. There is no doubt that Marville’s interest here was the sky—the magnificent massing of clouds that momentarily eclipses the sun. The scale, drama, and majesty of this short-lived natural spectacle overwhelms human achievements.
The information about this object, including provenance, may not be currently accurate. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email email@example.com.
To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.
All images and data available through Open Access can be downloaded for free. For images not available through Open Access, a detail image, or any image with a color bar, request a digital file from Image Services.