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HomeContentsOnline exhibitions > Édouard Baldus (1813–1889): 19th Century French Photographs

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Édouard Baldus
19th Century French Photographs

Édouard Baldus was born in 1813 at in Grünebachin in Prussia and later moved to Paris. He was working as a painter in the 1840s when he discovered a love for photography. Like many others at the time Baldus was a pioneer in the early years of photography and much of his work documented the monuments and architecture of France. In 1851 he was commissioned by the Comite des Monuments Historiques to photograph monuments in Paris, Fontainebleau, Burgundy, the Dauphine, Normandy, Auvergne and Provence. During 1854-1855 Baldus created 1,500 photographs of a new wing of the Louvre in Paris and was commissioned by Baron James de Rothschild to photograph the railroad lines in France.
Baldus was a founding member of the Societe Heliographique and he was an early proponent of heliogravure, an early photomechanical process. Baldus used the calotype process through 1851 and in 1856 began using collodion wet-plate negatives and albumen prints. As well as his work with architecture and monuments, Baldus also photographed landscapes, sculpture, paintings, and the documentation of the Rhone floods. A major exhibition of his work took place at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York in 1994 and the book entitled, The Photographs of Édouard Baldus resulted from this show.
(Courtesy of the Lee Gallery, Sept 2007) 



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