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The Floods of 1856, Avignon

Édouard Baldus (French, born Prussia, 1813–1889)

Date:
1856
Medium:
Salted paper print from paper negative
Dimensions:
30.4 x 43.8 cm (11 15/16 x 17 1/4 in. )
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Purchase, Robert Hurst, Paul F. Walter and Anonymous Gifts; Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, Rogers Fund and Gift of Mrs. Claire K. Feins, in memory of Daniel M. Feins, and Linda S. Silverman, by exchange, and funds from various donors, 1997
Accession Number:
1997.52
  • Description

    In Avignon, Baldus portrayed the disastrous floods of 1856 with uncommon lyricism. Standing on the cathedral terrace, he pivoted his camera to compose a sweeping six-part panorama that encompasses the entire Rhône valley. In this section, one can see the flooded island of Barthelasse, the town of Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, and the river, slowly returning to the confines of its banks. Mulberry and willow trees dot the watery landscape, showing the contours of previously dry land, and trees, boats, houses, and hills float on the water's surface, as if in the cushioning embrace of pale heather velvet. There is no hint of the violent torrent.

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Signed in the negative, BRC: "EB"; inscribed in the negative BLC, BC, BRC: "Villeneuf [sic] les Avignon." "No. 92" "EB"

  • Provenance

    From the artist to Léon Bourquelot, an architect in Lefuel's office at the Louvre, 1850s; from Bourquelot's descendants to Serge Clin, Versailles, 1989; from Clin to Alain Paviot and Robert Hershkowitz, 1989; from Paviot and Hershkowitz to Simon Lowinsky, ca. 1992; from Lowinsky to Christopher Cardozo, 1995.

  • Notes

    This is the third section of a six-part panorama.

  • See also
    Who
    What
    Where
    When
    In the Museum
    Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History
    MetPublications
271912:2

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