Place de l'Etoile
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Charles Marville
French, Paris, about 1877
Albumen print
8 15/16 x 14 1/2 in.

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Although Charles Marville began his photography career concentrating on religious sites and architecture, his attention soon turned to civic subjects, such as this monumental public space extending out from the Arc de Triomphe. When creating this image, Marville's intent was not to simply document a specific place or structure, but to illustrate the national glorification of France. On the left side of the image, relief sculptures looking over the vast space around the arch celebrate Napoléon Bonaparte's victorious military campaigns.