Image: 33 x 42.7 cm (13 x 16 13/16 in.)
Mount: 46 x 60.5 cm (18 1/8 x 23 13/16 in.)
Mat: 55.9 x 71.1 cm (22 x 28 in.)
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Not on view
Inscription: Printed in ink on mount, recto BL below image: "LYON. HÔTEL DE VILLE"; fascimile signature stamped in ink on mount, recto BR below image: "E. Baldus"
Édouard Baldus; [...]; Claudine Van der Vliet; [Galerie Texbraun, Paris]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, June 13, 1985
The Hôtel de Ville of Lyon was built according to the designs of Simon Maupin from 1646 to 1655. Less than twenty years after completion, in 1674, a fire destroyed parts of the interior and of the principal facade. The architecture shown here is the work of Jules Hardouin Mansart who carried out the repair and reconstruction of the building in 1702. Only the equestrian statue had changed between that date and the 1860s: the original equestrian statue of Louis XIV was destroyed in the Revolution and replaced with plaster figures of Liberty and Equality, which were in turn replaced by the equestrian statue of Henri IV seen here. Baldus purposely chose a long exposure which would eliminate the human presence from the scene, and chose a point of view slightly right of center in order to show that the central tower was set back from the facade; in so doing, he also set the fountain off to the side of his composition so that it would not interrupt the central elements of the facade. [MD]