The J. Paul Getty Museum

Exposition universelle de 1889 / État d'avancement

Object Details


Exposition universelle de 1889 / État d'avancement


Louis-Émile Durandelle (French, 1839 - 1917)




Paris, France (Place Created)


November 23, 1888


Albumen silver print

Object Number:



43.2 × 34.6 cm (17 × 13 5/8 in.)

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Object Description

The Centennial Exposition of 1889 was organized by the French government to commemorate the French Revolution. Bridge engineer Gustave Eiffel's 984-foot (300-meter) tower of open-lattice wrought iron was selected in a competition to erect a memorial at the exposition. Twice as high as the dome of St. Peter's in Rome or the Great Pyramid of Giza, nothing like it had ever been built before. This view was made about four months short of the tower's completion. Louis-Émile Durandelle photographed the tower from a low vantage point to emphasize its monumentality. The massive building barely visible in the far distance is dwarfed under the tower's arches.

Incidentally, the tower's innovative glass-cage elevators, engineered to ascend on a curve, were designed by the Otis Elevator Company of New York, the same company that designed the Getty Center's diagonally ascending tram.

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