|Edouard Baldus at the Chateau de La Faloise |
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Clark Art Institute
Édouard Baldus (1813–1889) was the most important French architectural photographer of the mid-nineteenth century. This book offers an in-depth exploration of one of his most intriguing projects—a remarkable series of views of the Château de La Faloise, in which his subject was not primarily the country house but the owner and his family at leisure on its grounds.
The book is a dossier-style study of this group of photographs, which includes thirteen known prints from nine different negatives. James A. Ganz locates the photographs at a key moment in Baldus’s career and during one of the most eventful decades in the history of French photography, showing that they stand at a crossroad between the English “conversation piece” and the birth of Impressionist portraiture in the early paintings of Monet and Bazille. Each of the images is scrutinized for the information that it presents and withholds—including readings of the sitters’ body language for clues to their identities and relationships—and enlarged photographic details help the reader understand Baldus’s complex and playful images. An appendix fully documents all of the known prints in both public and private collections.
Édouard Baldus at the Château de La Faloise grows out of an exhibition shown at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute in the fall of 2003, which was the first to reassemble the group of photographs. The Clark Art Institute owns three of the prints, making it the largest repository of works from this project.
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