Sky Study, Paris

Sky Study, Paris

1856-57

Charles Marville

(French, 1816-1879)

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

Did you know?

Charles Marville made this view of Paris from his apartment.

Description

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.

See also
Collection: 
Photography
Department: 
Photography
Type of artwork: 
Photograph

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