'Pantheon', Paris, c 1865.
© National Media Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
A photograph of the Pantheon in Paris, taken by Edouard-Denis Baldus (1813-1882) in about 1865. The Pantheon was originally known as the church of St Genevieve, who was buried underneath the building in 512. The church fell into ruins under the reign of the sick Louis XV, but he promised if he recovered he would build a new church. The new building was designed by Souflot, and the first stone was laid in 1764. It has now become the final resting place for many of France's national heroes. 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 Franc