Charles Marville, photos of Paris before Haussmann

During the Second Empire, Paris knew under the auspices of Napoleon III and Haussmann prefect the most important works of its history. Transformations that allowed the city to enter the modern era, and that will make Paris a hygiene and urbanism world reference. Charles Marville, whose real name is Charles François Bossu, is an unknown photographer who was at the forefront of these transformations. Official Photographer of Napoleon III, he become in 1858 photographer of the city of Paris. His task was twofold: to preserve historical prints of destroyed neighborhoods, thus proving the benefit of those constructions that would bring health, comfort and safety to Paris. Find below a selection of photos taken by Charles Marville. An unique visit testimony of Paris before (and during) the great work of Hausmmann.

Note: The photographic technique of that time did not allow to capture the movement, the photos of Charles Marville show a ghostly and desert Paris. The streets were indeed full of people, but the exposure being at least 15 minutes long, the movements were not set by the camera.

Rue Fresnel

Photo de charles Marville     Ancienne rue des sept voies, aujourd’hui rue Valette Charles Marville. Quartier du Panthéon     Rue de la Montage Sainte-Geneviève photographe de la ville de Paris     Ménilmontant  Rue champlain     Hôtel de Ville après l’incendie lors de la Commune de Paris Hôtel de ville de Paris     Tracé de l’avenue de l’Opéra Construction de l'avenue de l'opéra     La Rivière Bièvre

Rivière Bièvre, Marville     Avenue Saint-Marcel Quartier Saint-Marcel, Photo Charles Marville   A voir aussi dans l’ouvrage de Patrice de Moncan « Paris photographié au temps d’Haussmann », Editions du Mécène. Crédit Photo : Charles Marville

Useful Informations

Charles François Bossu, called Charles Marville, was born in Paris July 17, 1813, died on 1 June 1879. French photograph, he is most famous for his photographs of Paris taken before the great work of Haussmann

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