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Édouard-Denis Baldus

French, 1813 - 1889

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Baldus was trained as a painter and learned photography by 1849. He was a founding member of the Société Héliographique in 1851 and the Société française de Photographie in 1857. The Commission des Monuments Historiques chose Baldus and four others to form the Mission Héliographique in 1851 to document the architectural heritage of France region by region. Baldus photographed in the provinces of Burgandy, the Dauphiné, and Provence. He photographed Paris in 1852 and in 1855 he reproduced several albums of views of railroads for the Baron James de Rothschild. He invented an elegant but not commercially useful photogravure process by 1854. In late 1850s he documented the flooding of the Rhône. He changed from the calotype to the collodion process in 1854 and made for the government a complete documentation of the new wing of the Louvre in over 2000 detail photographs. Highly respected by the end of the decade, he received the Cross of the Legion of Honor in 1860. He photographed Paris again in the early 1860s, the last of his active work. Photogravure publications of his work continued to be published in the 1870s.

Artist Bibliography

Pare, Richard. Photography and Architecture, 1839-1939. New York, 1982.
Ref Number: 1989.484.
Daniel, Malcolm. The Photographs of Edouard Baldus. Exh. cat. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1994.

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