'Fontaine du Palmier', Paris, c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of the Fontaine du Palmier, Chatelet Square, taken by Edouard-Denis Baldus (1813-1882) in about 1865. The fountain, commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his battle victories, is decorated with palm leaves, hence the name. On the top of the tall column, a Winged Victory figure stands with raised arms. 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.