Edouard Baldus (1813-89)
'Pavillon Richelieu, Louvre'
Salted paper print
Museum no. 56:314
© Victoria and Albert Museum, London
Baldus was among a group of photographers selected in 1851 by the French government's Historic Monuments Commission to document the nation's historic and contemporary architectural achievements. He used 'mammoth plate' glass negatives (approximately 77 x 55 cm) to photograph the recently completed buildings that were additions to the Louvre Museum. The results show superb clarity of detail while conveying the imposing scale and grandeur of the buildings. Baldus's images are both powerful records of French landmarks and expressions of national pride. He was one of the most prolific of French photographers of the 1850s and 1860s.