Bewogen straten: de omgang van het stadsbestuur van Parijs met de foto's van Parijse straten en boulevards van Charles Marville (1813-1879) tussen 1865 en 1910

Joke de Wolf

Research output: ThesisThesis fully internal (DIV)

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While the Parisian city council was demolishing the narrow streets to modernize the city in the mid-nineteenth century, photographer Charles Marville (pseudonym of Charles-François Bossu, 1813-1879) was commissioned to take pictures of these old streets before demolition. Joke de Wolf analyzes the way in which the Parisian city council, photo specialists, architects and historians have used and described Marville's photos over the course of their existence.
Although the original commission was lost, we know that between 1865 and 1868 Marville took about 425 photographs: contact prints from glass negatives measuring 30 by 40 centimeters showing narrow, seemingly empty streets. Only people who kept still are visible. The first set of prints was lost in the fire at the Hôtel de Ville in 1871. Marville had kept the negatives, and the city council had them reprinted. These photos were exhibited at the World Exhibition of 1878 in Paris in the special pavillion of the City of Paris and from 1907 onwards in the historical library and the museum of Paris.
In the history of photography, the photos have often been described as an expression of the photographer's melancholy, or because the city council wanted to underline progress with before-and-after photos. As this research shows, the photos were initially used by the cartography department, and in 1878 there was no question of a nostalgic or triumphant underlying presentation. This changed around 1900, when the old Paris, 'vieux Paris', became an attraction at the world exhibition and eventually in the rest of the world.
Original languageDutch
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • University of Groningen
  • Lehmann, Ann-Sophie, Supervisor
  • Esner, R., Co-supervisor, External person
Award date19-Oct-2022
Place of Publication[Groningen]
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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