Édouard Baldus(French, 1813-1889)
"Château de Polignac", 1850s
Coated salt print from a paper negative
32.6 x 44.7 cm mounted on 44.9 x 59.9 cm paper
Signed "E. Baldus.", titled "Château de Polignac" and numbered "No 67" in the negative. "E. Baldus" blue signature stamp on mount.
Édouard Baldus was known by 1855 as the leading architectural photographer in France. His compositions were so impressive for their clarity and scale that the government hired him to document historical monuments in Paris and the provinces. To celebrate the glory of Napoleon III and the Second Empire, he was commissioned to photograph the New Louvre under construction. The beautiful landscape Château de Polignac (1850s) belongs to a series of photographs that Baldus made while traveling through Auvergne, in central France. Perhaps because of the dramatic physical character of that region, Baldus -- through a poetic filter that can seem unrelated to his architectural views -- focused on the land itself.