'Louvre', Paris, c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of the Louvre, Paris, taken by Edouard-Denis Baldus (1813-1882) in about 1865. Previously a palace but established as a public museum in 1793 by the French Republic, the Louvre was one of the earliest museums to open in Europe. It is probably best known for housing Leonardo Da Vinci's (1452-1519) portrait of 'Mona Lisa' (1479-1528), also known as 'La Gioconda'. 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 historic sites around France and also by Baron Rothschild to record the construction of he Paris-Lyon railway.