17 October 2010

Mission Héliographique, 1851

 
Roman Arch at Orange], 1851
Édouard Baldus (French, born Prussia, 1813–1889)

Salted paper print from paper negative
35.3 x 26.2 cm



 
"In 1851, the Commission des Monuments Historiques, an agency of the French government, selected five photographers to make photographic surveys of the nation's architectural patrimony. These Missions Héliographiques, as they were called, were intended to aid the Paris-based commission in determining the nature and urgency of the preservation and restoration of work required at historic sites throughout France. The French rail network was still in its infancy and many of the commissioners had never visited the monuments in their care; photography promised a record of such sites that would be produced more quickly and accurately than the architectural drawings on which they had previously relied."

Malcolm Daniel
Department of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Source: Mission Héliographique, 1851 | Thematic Essay | Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History | The Metropolitan Museum of Art


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