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4470Lecture_3Pt.1

4470Lecture_3Pt.1 - Professor Darius A Spieth Art History...

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Professor: Darius A. Spieth Art History Program LSU School of Art
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Edouard Baldus, Cloister at Saint-Trophîme, Arles , 1851, partly hand-painted paper print Originally five photographers were chosen by the Historic Monuments Commission for the Mission héliographique : Hipployte Bayard, Edouard Baldus, Gustave Le Gray, Henri Le Secq, O. Mestral Photographers of the Mission héliographique were assigned specific areas in France; Baldus’s destination was the Church of Saint-Trophîme and its adjacent cloister in the southern French city of Arles Baldus went beyond the call of duty and styled himself as a “painter-photographer”; devised an image-making process that expanded the camera’s scope of vision
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His large print of the Cloister at Saint- Trophîme was constructed from many negatives, which were retouched if necessary Bladus thus defined photography not as a “pure” product of camera exposure, but as a flexible basis for picture making Approach foreshadows two basically different approaches to photography that will define the medium’s future: preserving the inherently unique value of the unretouched negative/print or allowing the “improvement” of existing photographic materials, intrinsically open for the possibility of manipulation
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Edouard D. Baldus, Train Station, Toulon , late 1850s, albumen print from a glass (calotype) negative With his reputation as a photographer established because of his involvement with the Commission des monuments historiques , Baldus obtained other jobs in architectural documentation By 1854, he became involved with the production of a celebratory photographic railroad album, which was published on the occasion of the opening of the Paris- Lyon railroad Second Empire was fascinated by railroads: symbols of progress, industrialization, and modernity (like photography itself) Typical example of Baldus’s railroad pictures: the Toulon train station is strangely devoid of passengers and trains; picture probably taken before official opening Feelings of alienation and loneliness typical for Baldus’s work
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Edouard D. Baldus, Pont du Gard , 1855, albumen print from a glass (calotype) negative When the line was extended from Paris to Marseille, Napoleon III was on board the inaugural train, drawn by a British locomotive, “The Compton,” at a commercial speed of 100 km/h (a record not the be broken for another 80 yrs.) Later, Queen Victoria, on a state visit to France in 1855 on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition, received one of Baldus’s railroad albums as a souvenir Thus, Baldus was something of the semi- official photographer of France’s railroads and remained closely linked to official France during the Second Empire
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Edouard D. Baldus (attr.),
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