Rue de Bourdonnais
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Charles Marville
French, Paris, 1865
Albumen print
12 1/4 x 10 5/8 in.

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This atmospheric view of a wide Paris street, taken shortly after a rainfall, is one of four hundred such images created by Charles Marville in 1865. At that time, Napoléon III's architect and city planner, Baron Haussmann, was planning a broad program of civic improvements in Paris that would extensively alter the layout of the city's boulevards and streets. Before demolition began, city officials commissioned Marville to create photographic records of the existing avenues. New roads cut through ancient neighborhoods, while streets such as the rue de Bourdonnais were realigned and widened.