ORNAMENTAL STONE HEAD AND OVERMANTLE FOR THE "NEW" PARIS OPERA, 1872
Albumen print from Glass Plate Negative
14 X 8 inches (image, approx.)
Original photograph made during construction of the Paris Opera in the late 19th century. These contact printed, glass-plate derived albumen prints are among the most beautiful 19th century French photographs in existence. Many are in museums. The large photos (approximately 11 x 15 inches each) are mounted on much larger sheets of paper and were originally bound into books. The architect, Charles Garnier, presented those books to those he thought helped him obtain the commission for the most important building in Paris. Durandelle lived from 1839 to 1917, but never surpassed his work with Garnier. The fact that the seven of Paris's leading sculptors worked on the designs certainly contributes to the overwhelming beauty of the photograph.