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Entrée du Robinet

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

ca. 1861
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Image: 33.3 x 43.2 cm (13 1/8 x 17 in.) Mount: 46 x 60.5 cm (18 1/8 x 23 13/16 in.) Mat: 62.9 x 72.4 cm (24 3/4 x 28 1/2 in.)
Credit Line:
Gilman Collection, Gift of The Howard Gilman Foundation, 2005
Accession Number:
  • Description

    In July 1861 the board of directors for the southern region of the Paris-Lyon-Méditerranée Railroad commissioned Baldus to produce an album of views of the rail constructions and principal sites served by the line between Lyons, Marseilles, and Toulon. This line, especially the section linking Lyons and Avignon, followed trade routes established in antiquity alongside the Rhône, the most powerful river in France, whose strong current made navigation always difficult and perilous, and at times impossible.
    Perched on the very edge of the roadbed, Baldus photographed the track and the telegraph lines that ran parallel to it as they skirted along the east bank of the river at the Donzère Pass, the northern entrance to Provence. The ease with which the smooth rails recede into the distance and curve gently around the rugged cliff wall is an apt pictorial expression of the mastery of modern engineering over time and space.
    The photograph appears in the album "Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée."

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Printed in ink on mount, recto BL below image: "ENTRÉE DU ROBINET."; fascimile signature stamped in ink on mount, recto BR below image: "E. Baldus"

  • Provenance

    Claudine Van der Vliet; [Galerie Texbraun]; Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York, June 13, 1985

  • Notes

    This photograph, which depicts the narrow pass that constitutes the northern entrance to Provence, was taken along the same stretch of track shown at the bottom of the previous image. A tissue mask on the negative has been used to lighten the dark grassy area at the right side. [MD]

  • See also