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Edouard-Denis Baldus (French, b. Prussia, 1813–1889)
Aigues-Mortes, 1853/61
Albumen salted paper print from glass negative
10 1/4 × 16 3/4 in. (26.04 × 42.55 cm)
Purchase, Richard and Ethel Herzfeld Foundation Acquisition Fund M1995.301
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Not Currently on View

In 1848—after attempting a career as a history painter—Edouard Denis Baldus turned to photography when the medium was scarcely a decade old. He became a leading architectural photographer and quickly won critical acclaim for his keen aesthetic sensibility and technical skills during the early experimental years of the medium. This photograph was included in the second of Baldus's government-sponsored railway albums, Railroads of Paris to Lyon and to the Mediterranean. The album consists of views of the landscape, towns, train stations, Roman antiquities, and medieval structures along the line from Lyon to Marseille. This photograph of medieval ramparts in the southern coastal town of Aigues-Mortes rhymes the muscular forms of the wall with the soft curves of the natural landscape. The photograph suggests a natural progression in which nature, pre-industrial engineering, and modern technology (such as the railroad for which Baldus made this photograph) peacefully co-exist.

Publication History
Daniel, Malcolm. The Photographs of Edouard Baldus. NY: Harry N. Abrams (The Metropolitan Museum of Art with the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal), 1994, pp. 78-87, 241.
Exhibition History
Gustave Le Gray in Context, January 18 - April
Recent Acquisitions, Milwaukee Art Museum, 6/7/96-8/18/96

This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.