Juan Laurent (French, 1816–1892, active Spain, 1857–1880s)
José Martinez Sánchez (Spanish, 1808–1874)
Albumen silver print from glass negative
33.9 x 24.8 cm (13 3/8 x 9 3/4 in.)
Purchase, The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Gift, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, by exchange, 1999
Not on view
Beginning in the late 1850s, Laurent worked for the Spanish photographic agency Gerónimo. During thirty-five years of operation in Madrid, the firm produced some 20,000 photographs-a vast archive of Spanish art, architecture, and industrial achievement.
This photograph, originally part of an album that documented the Zaragoza-Pamplona-Barcelona railway line, depicts a bridge spanning the dry bed of the Gállego River at Zuera, a desolate locale situated north of Zaragoza. Tight framing and dramatic foreshortening result in an image as geometrically conceived as the impressive technology that is represented. A tiny human presence, positioned at the far end of the bridge, emphasizes the imposing span and scale of this modern engineering feat.
Inscription: Printed in black ink on mount, recto BR, BRC: "J LAURENT, Fotog", "Card S. Geronimo, 39 MADRID", "40"; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto: "Zaragoza à Pamplona y Barcelona. - Puente de Zuera."
[Tartt Gallery, Dec. 10, 1998]
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 26," May 15, 2000–September 18, 2000.
J. Paul Getty Museum. "Railroad Vision," March 5, 2002–June 23, 2002.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Johnson Gallery, Selections from the Collection 39," December 23, 2004–April 17, 2005.