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The Floods of 1856, Avignon

Artist:
Édouard Baldus (French, born Prussia, 1813–1889)
Date:
1856
Medium:
Salted paper print from paper negative
Dimensions:
30.4 x 43.8 cm (11 15/16 x 17 1/4 in. )
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Robert Hurst, Paul F. Walter and Anonymous Gifts; Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, Rogers Fund and Gift of Mrs. Claire K. Feins, in memory of Daniel M. Feins and Linda S. Silverman, by exchange; and funds from various donors, 1997
Accession Number:
1997.52
Not on view
In Avignon, Baldus portrayed the disastrous floods of 1856 with uncommon lyricism. Standing on the cathedral terrace, he pivoted his camera to compose a sweeping six-part panorama that encompasses the entire Rhône valley. In this section, one can see the flooded island of Barthelasse, the town of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, and the river, slowly returning to the confines of its banks. Mulberry and willow trees dot the watery landscape, showing the contours of previously dry land, and trees, boats, houses, and hills float on the water's surface, as if in the cushioning embrace of pale heather velvet. There is no hint of the violent torrent.
Inscription: Signed in the negative, BRC: "EB"; inscribed in the negative BLC, BC, BRC: "Villeneuf [sic] les Avignon." "No. 92" "EB"
From the artist to Léon Bourquelot, an architect in Lefuel's office at the Louvre, 1850s; from Bourquelot's descendants to Serge Clin, Versailles, 1989; from Clin to Alain Paviot and Robert Hershkowitz, 1989; from Paviot and Hershkowitz to Simon Lowinsky, ca. 1992; from Lowinsky to Christopher Cardozo, 1995.

This is the third section of a six-part panorama.
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