Salzmann’s photographs dissect the church’s facade element by element. He recognized the building as a physical manifestation of the multicultural city’s history, during which it changed hands over many centuries: "Destroyed and rebuilt under the strangest circumstances, it offers a meeting of diverse elements that cannot be found elsewhere." He focused on the church’s relationship to French medieval cathedrals, a number of which were then being studied and restored under the direction of architect Eugène-Emmanuel Viollet-le-Duc (1814–1879). In this photograph, Salzmann isolates the capitals in the center of the main entrance, leaving a fraction of each frieze to link the composition to the previous and following plates. His radical mode of picture making results in photographs that both stand on their own and respond to their context in the album.
Inscription: Inscribed in negative, recto BL: "63"; printed on mount, recto BC: "Aug. Salzmann // JÉRUSALEM // SAINT SÉPULCRE // Détails des chapiteaux // Gide et J. Baudry, éditeurs. // Imp. Photogr. de Blanquart - Evrard, à Lille."; inscribed in pencil on mount, recto TR: "86";inscribed in pencil on mount then erased, recto BR: [a square and downward pointing arrow]; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso TL: "Salzmann –"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso TR: "pl -86"; inscribed in pencil on mount, verso C: "52 [in a circle with two lines drawn through it] // 56 [circled]"
André Jammes Collection; [Graphics International, Ltd.]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, October 7, 1978
American Bible Society, New York. "The Jerusalem Project: The Dome Restoration in the Church of the Holy Sepulchre," June 6, 1998–July 6, 1998.
Perez, Nissan. "An Artist in Jerusalem: Auguste Salzmann." The Israel Museum Journal 1 (Spring 1982). pp. 19–50.
In 1854, Auguste Salzmann created approximately two hundred paper negatives during a four-month sojourn in Jerusalem. He recorded sixty-eight sites and categorized them, with some exceptions, by monotheistic religion—Judaism, Christianity, or Islam. Many of the resulting salted paper prints were circulated privately soon after his return to Paris. In 1856, the album, Jerusalem: A Study and Photographic Reproduction of the Holy City, was first advertised as a commercial endeavor for a wider public. Photographic plates were distributed three at a time over fifty-eight installments from September 1856 through 1859. All of Salzmann’s Jerusalem photographs were printed by the preeminent Blanquart-Évrard firm of Lille, France, while their distribution was managed by Gide et Baudry of Paris. Each album was meant to include two volumes of photographic plates accompanied by an archaeological treatise authored by Salzmann. The album in The Met collection is complete with 174 unbound photographic plates.