The Floods of 1856, Avignon

Edouard Baldus French, born Prussia

Not on view

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.

The Floods of 1856, Avignon, Edouard Baldus (French (born Prussia), 1813–1889), Salted paper print from paper negative

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