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EMILE DURANDELLE (1839-1917)
EMILE DURANDELLE (1839-1917)

Le Nouvel Opéra de Paris -- Sculpture Ornementale. Paris: Ducher et Cie, 1875

Details
EMILE DURANDELLE (1839-1917)
Le Nouvel Opéra de Paris -- Sculpture Ornementale. Paris: Ducher et Cie, 1875
Portfolio containing 45 albumen prints, mounted on card.
Portfolio: 25½ x 18½in. (64.8 x 47cm.); plates: 8 x 10½in. (20.3 x 26.7cm.) to 15 x 11in. (38.1 x 27.9cm.) (45)
Literature
Goldschmidt and Naef, The Truthful Lens: A Survey of the Photographically Illustrated Book 1844-1914, The Grolier Club, New York, 1980, no. 70.

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Lot Essay

Durandelle's portfolio is considered to be the definitive work on the Opera at Paris, 'the most exuberant building of its time' (Dictionary of Art, XII, p. 156). A relative unknown, Charles Garnier won the competition to build the Opera in 1861 as an expression of the wealth and power of Napoleon III's Second Empire. Construction commenced immediately, employing over 90 painters and sculptors for its lavish decorative programme alone, and it was completed -- under the Third Republic -- in 1875. The celebrated French architectural photographer Durandelle recorded its construction in 'photographs which are a milestone in the use of the medium for extended architectural documentation. They count among the most splendid examples of nineteenth-century architectural photography.' (C. Phillips, The Construction of the Paris Opéra, exhibition at ICP, New York, 2001)

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