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Cloître Saint-Amand, Rouen

Edmond Bacot (French, 1814–1875)

Date:
1852–53
Medium:
Salted paper print from glass negative
Dimensions:
34.5 x 26.5 cm (13 9/16 x 10 7/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1995
Accession Number:
1995.96.13
  • Description

    In December 1852 Bacot, a man of independent means living in Caen, briefly visited the island of Jersey bringing 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." During the following year, Bacot sent additional photographs to the writer, including this one, about which Hugo wrote: "The old Gothic house is a particularly miraculous thing; mass and detail, strength in the shadows and perfection in the highlights, everything is there. . . . I congratulate the sun for having a collaborator such as you."
    By photographing in strong sunlight and with a long lens, Bacot transformed the half-timbered walls and overhanging eaves of the cloister into patches of deep shadow and patterns of light. Such photographs articulated a highly romanticized view of the medieval--a view deeply colored by Hugo's own writings and poetic drawings of Gothic architecture.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Inscribed in ink on mount BC, below print: "Cloître St.-Amand. // Rouen."

  • Provenance

    Believed to have been given by the artist to Victor Hugo; [...]; Edouard Lagnel, Caen.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
267316

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