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Charles Marville (French, 1816–1879)

About this artist

Source: Oxford University Press

French photographer and illustrator. He first worked as an illustrator in the medium of wood-engraving and was associated with Tony Johannot. With the writer Charles Nodier (1780–1844) and publishers such as Curmer and Bourdin he took part in the creation of great Romantic illustrated editions of such works as Paul et Virginie by Bernardin de Saint-Pierre. He was, however, primarily a landscape artist known as an illustrator of travel books. By 1851 he had become a photographer, concentrating on religious sites and religious architecture, particularly for Louis-Désiré Blanquart-Evrard, who published c. 100 of his calotypes. He worked for the Louvre and reproduced drawings by major French and Italian artists. Collaborating with architects such as Paul Abadie, he photographed the different stages of construction or of restoration of civil and religious monuments. He also photographed the new Bois de Boulogne.

Marville’s most accomplished work was the album of c. 400 images of roads condemned by Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann’s restructuring of Paris, for example Rue des Prêtres-St-Séverin (5e Arrondissement) (albumen print, c. 1865; Paris, Carnavalet). At the request of the municipality, he took a systematic census of them before their demolition . Ten years later, he returned to the same sites where he was again commissioned to photograph the new main roads in order to present Haussmann’s Paris at the Exposition Universelle of 1878.

Marie de Thézy
From Grove Art Online

© 2009 Oxford University Press

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