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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Édouard Denis Baldus
French, about 1813–about 1882

Saint-Étienne-du-Mont, no. 25

Albumen print, about 1860
Gift of Wm. B. Becker, 1990.129

In 1851, Édouard Baldus and four other French photographers photographed important architectural subjects in France as part of the Mission Héliographique—a government-sponsored program to make a survey of French architecture as an aid to preservation and restoration planning. The photographers fanned out throughout France with an itinerary and a selection of historic buildings to document. The territory that Baldus was sent to cover was in the south and east of France and included such monuments as the Palace of Fontainebleau, Roman ruins in Provence, and medieval churches in the Rhône Valley. Baldus made this photograph of the medieval church of Saint-Étienne-du-Mont in Paris before he began his travels, or perhaps after he returned. Prints by Baldus from this commission are very rare since the photographs were never released to the public.