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Curved Bridge of the St. Anthony River Aqueduct
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This image is available for download, without charge, under the Getty's Open Content Program.

Marc Ferrez
Brazilian, about 1883 - 1889
Gelatin silver chloride printing-out paper
10 3/8 x 14 1/16 in.
85.XM.322.5

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Brazil's emperor, Dom Pedro II, commissioned Marc Ferrez to document the construction of an aqueduct being built to supply water to the capital city of Rio de Janeiro. The aqueduct bridge over the St. Anthony River snakes through the photograph like a scaly serpent, bisecting the dark, lush foliage and fixing the imprint of humans and growing urbanization upon the landscape. Without a glimpse of sky above or ground below, the bridge seems to hover suspended in the verdant landscape. The small figure of a man standing on the bridge footpath at the left provides a sense of scale with which to compare the aqueduct's size with its human creators.