Albumen print from wet collodion negative
Image: 25.1 x 36.4 cm (9 7/8 x 14 5/16 in.); Matted: 40.6 x 50.8 cm (16 x 20 in.)
James Parmelee Fund 1989.27
Although better known for his architectural photographs of Paris, Marville also produced magical landscapes like this image. Carefully composed, the asymmetrical composition presents a picturesque scene of a waterfall flowing from a mound of boulders in the Bois de Boulogne, a forest annexed as a Parisian city park in 1852. The sunlight filtering through the foliage creates a remarkable range of tonal and textural detail, along with lively abstract patterns of light and shadow. Trained as a painter, lithographer, and engraver, Marville took up photography around 1850. He was named official photographer of Paris in 1862 and documented the buildings and neighborhoods ultimately destroyed when the boulevards and open spaces of modern Paris were built in the late 19th century.
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