The Arc de Triomphe, Paris, c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of the Arc de Triomphe, Paris, taken by Edouard-Denis Baldus (1815-1882) in about 1865. The Arch was commissioned by Napoleon in 1806, but not finished until 1836. The large relief sculptures at the base of each of the four pillars illustrate events during the wars. Engraved around the top of the Arch are names of major victories during the Revolutionary and Napoleonic periods. Beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and an eternal flame commemorating the dead of World Wars One and Two. This is one of a series of photographs by Baldus published in an album entitled, 'Vues de Paris en Photographies'. Trained as a painter, Baldus (1813-1882) was accepted into the Paris Salon in 1842. He was a founding member of the Societe Heliographique in 1851and the Societe Francaise de Photographie in 1857. During the 1850s and 1860s Baldus was one of the most prolific of French photographers. He was commissioned by the Comite des Monuments Historiques to photograph his