Art/ Collection/ Collection/ Art Object

Saint-Maclou, Rouen

Artist:
Edmond Bacot (French, 1814–1875)
Date:
1852–54
Medium:
Salted paper print from glass negative
Dimensions:
34.4 x 25.6 cm (13 9/16 x 10 1/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.96.10
Not on view
In December 1852, Edmond Bacot, a man of independent means living in Caen, traveled to the Isle of Jersey with resources gathered by the republicans of Caen and Bayeux for Victor Hugo and the exile community. He also carried with him photographs of the Gothic monuments of Normandy, pictures that Hugo described as "marvels" and that prompted him to write to Bacot, "I congratulate the sun for having a collaborator such as you." In the year that followed, Bacot taught photography to Hugo's son Charles and sent additional photographs, which Charles ultimately had bound. The album containing this print and twenty-seven others by Bacot from around 1853, all with elaborately calligraphed titles, is thought to be the volume assembled from photographs sent to the exiled writer and his family.


By photographing in strong sunlight and with a long lens, Bacot transformed the flamboyant Gothic facade of the Church of Saint-Maclou into patches of deep shadow and patterns of light playing on Gothic tracery. Hugo's love of such photographs surely stemmed from a recognition that they articulated a highly romanticized view of the medieval—a view deeply colored by Hugo's own writings and poetic drawings of Gothic architecture.

Inscription: Inscribed in ink on mount, bottom center, below print: "Saint Maclou // Rouen."
Artist; Probably Victor Hugo (1853–54); [...]; [Edouard Lagnel, Caen, by 1989]

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 11," November 13, 1995–March 11, 1996.

Chéreau, Bernard and Annick. E. Bacot, A. de Brébisson, A. Humbert de Molard: Trois Photographes en Basse-Normandie au XIXe Siècle. Caen, France: Ardi, 1989.



Related Objects

Portail de la Calende, Rouen Cathédral

Artist: Edmond Bacot (French, 1814–1875) Date: 1852–54 Medium: Salted paper print from glass negative Accession: 1995.96.5 On view in:Not on view

Tour de Saint-Ouen, Rouen

Artist: Edmond Bacot (French, 1814–1875) Date: 1852–54 Medium: Salted paper print from glass negative Accession: 1995.96.8 On view in:Not on view

Vue générale de Saint-Ouen

Artist: Edmond Bacot (French, 1814–1875) Date: 1852–54 Medium: Salted paper print from glass negative Accession: 1995.96.6 On view in:Not on view

Portail de Saint-Ouen, Rouen

Artist: Edmond Bacot (French, 1814–1875) Date: 1852–54 Medium: Salted paper print from glass negative Accession: 1995.96.7 On view in:Not on view

Saint-Georges de Boscherville, près Rouen

Artist: Edmond Bacot (French, 1814–1875) Date: 1852–54 Medium: Salted paper print from glass negative Accession: 1995.96.19 On view in:Not on view