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Henry Fox Talbot
View of the Boulevards at Paris
[The Pencil of Nature, Part 1, pl. 2]
Hans P. Kraus, Jr., Inc.
Taken from the reproductions in Larry J. Schaaf, H. Fox Talbot's The Pencil of Nature; Anniversary Facsimile (New York: Hans P. Kraus, Jr. Inc., 1989). The originals selected for this publication were the best single examples available for each plate. Not to be reproduced without permission of H.P. Kraus, Jr.
This view was taken from one of the upper windows of the Hotel de Douvres, situated at the corner of the Rue de la Paix. The spectator is looking to the North-east. The time is the afternoon. The sun is just quitting the range of buildings adorned with columns: its fažade is already in the shade, but a single shutter standing open projects far enough forward to catch a gleam of sunshine. The weather is hot and dusty, and they have just been watering the road, which has produced two broad bands of shade upon it, which unite in the foreground, because, the road being partially under repair (as is seen from the two wheelbarrows, &c. &c.), the watering machines have been compelled to cross to the other side.
By the roadside a row of cittadines and cabriolets are waiting, and a single carriage stands in the distance a long way to the right.
A whole forest of chimneys borders the horizon: for, the instrument chronicles whatever it sees, and certainly would delineate a chimney-pot or a chimney-sweeper with the same impartiality as it would the Apollo of Belvedere.
The view is taken from a considerable height, as appears easily by observing the house on the right hand; the eye being necessarily on a level with that part of the building on which the horizontal lines or courses of stone appear parallel to the margin of the picture.
H. Fox Talbot, The Pencil of Nature, (London: Longman, Brown, Green and Longmans, 1844)