Oct 23, 2007




Édouard Baldus

(French, 1813–1889)

Albumen print from wet collodion negative

Matted: 50.8 x 61 cm (20 x 24 in.)

Andrew R. and Martha Holden Jennings Fund 1986.15



This rare, majestic, and sweeping view of the cathedral of Amiens, France, is an outstanding example of Baldus’s genius for photographing architecture. Placing his large view camera at an elevated vantage point, he recorded the dominating and central position of the church, which was undergoing restoration, as it towered above the surrounding village; open landscape is captured in the distance. In this ambitious composition, he carefully rendered the scene’s textural detail, spatial complexity, and subtlety of light. Compare this distant view with the close-up detail of a stone sculpture in LeSecq’s photograph of the same building (CMA 1996.253).

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