'Hotel de Ville', Paris, c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of the Hotel de Ville (Town Hall), Paris, taken by Edouard-Denis Baldus (1813-1882) in about 1865. Taken fom across the River Seine, this photograph shows the Hotel de Ville, the centre of political life in Paris for centuries. Work began on the building in 1533 and was not finished until 1628. It was burned down during the Paris Commune in 1871, but was reconstructed to original plans in 1882. 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.