|Emilio Biel: Caminho de Ferro do Douro (ca. 1890) |
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Albums documenting the construction of railways and their routes were often funded by the railway companies or their investors as a means of promoting commercial and passenger traffic and raising additional capital. This album from around 1890 showing the railway along the Douro Valley in Portugal and consists of photographs by Emilio Biel who had photographed other civil engineering projects including the construction of the Ponte Maria Pia railway bridge built by Gustave Eiffel in Porto, Portugal (1876-1877).
The reasons why this album was created is uncertain but it fits within the tradition of photographic series completed by Édouard Baldus in France for the Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée in the 1860s.
- Λ The Douro Valley is the heart of the region where the grapes for the fortified wine Port are grown. It was photographed by one of the earliest photographers in Portugal - Joseph James Forrester (1809-1861) who drowned in the river.
- Λ Malcolm R. Daniel, 1994, The Photographs of Édouard Baldus, (New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art; Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture)
He is commonly referred to as "Edouard-Denis Baldus" but there is no trace of this name having been used during his lifetime. He was born "Eduard" and adopted the French spelling "Edouard" after moving to Paris. [Thanks to Malcolm Daniel for this information.]
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