The Impasse de l'Essai at the Horse Market, Paris

Object Details


The Impasse de l'Essai at the Horse Market, Paris


Charles Marville (French, 1813 - 1879)




Paris, France (Place created)


negative about 1865; print after 1871


Albumen silver print


26.2 x 37.1 cm (10 5/16 x 14 5/8 in.)

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This dead-end, cobblestone lane stood near the horse market in Paris. Urban planner Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann commissioned Charles Marville to document "old Paris" prior to Haussmann's redesign of the city's streets and public spaces. Beyond the stone wall, a quaint neighborhood of modest structures backs up on a dirt alley. The foreground trees, stripped by the winter of their foliage, arch across the photograph like rolled up theater curtains revealing some backstage scene. This neighborhood may have been demolished to make way for one of Haussman's grand boulevards, which have come to characterize modern Paris.

On the Art of Fixing a Shadow: 150 Years of Photography (May 7, 1989 to February 25, 1990)
  • National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.), May 7 to July 30, 1989
  • The Art Institute of Chicago, September 9 to November 26, 1989
  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art (Los Angeles), December 29, 1989 to February 25, 1990