Édouard Denis Baldus, Paris. Louvre. Works on the Colbert Pavilion

Édouard Denis Baldus (1813-1889), "Paris. Louvre. Works on the Colbert Pavilion", circa 1855, albumen salt print, 44,1x34,7 cm, inv. LV 1228

The Frenchman of Prussian origins Édouard Denis Baldus, made his name as a photographer in 1851, when he was selected for the French Mission Heliographique. This publicly funded project, commissioned five select photographers (Gustave Le Gray, Olivier Mestral, Henri Le Secq, Hippolyte Bayard, as well as Baldus) with the task of documenting the monumental and architectural heritage of the nation. In the following years Baldus completed other important photographic projects such as the reportage of Queen Victoria's trip from Boulogne to Paris for the Universal Exhibition of 1855 and that of the flooding of the Rhone in 1856.

The photos of the Colbert Pavilion of the Louvre during the final phases of the works, is part of a campaign commissioned by the architect, Hector Martin Lefuel to Baldus in May 1854, to document the construction of the new pavilions of the Louvre's Cour Napoleon. Baldus' photographs of the Nouveau Louvre pre 1857 were much admired and exhibited in French and foreign photography salons. In August of 1858 Baldus dedicated a photo feature to Napoleon III 's Normandy expedition.