Louis Emile Durandelle (1839-1917), un photographe au service de l'architecture

Abstract : In the second half of the 19th century, the improvement of photographic techniques offers new tools to architects and the world of construction or restoration of buildings. Some photographers then specialize in architecture and construction photography and develop this new market. In this context, Louis Emile Durandelle, active in Paris between 1860 and 1890, illustrates this adaptation of some photographers at the request of architects whose use of architectural images is then in transition between the legacy of the previous century when the engravings were mainly disseminated in specialized publications and new practices of wider dissemination of architectural photographs. The architectural representation itself underwent an important transition, shattered notably by the speed of execution of the photographs. Having produced more than ten thousand photographs of reproductions of works of art and architecture and a number difficult to evaluate portraits-cards, Durandelle plays by the abundance of its production and its presence on major parisian sites an important role in the evolution of the uses of photography by the world of construction. He took many photographs providing valuable information about the works of the Opéra Garnier, the Sacré-Cœur of Montmartre, the Mont-Saint-Michel, the Comptoir d'Escompte of Paris, Lazare, the Hôtel-Dieu of Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre palace and the Amiens Museum of Fine Arts. Our study presents his biography, his activity as a photographer of construction sites, finished buildings and monumental decorations, from his realization of the photographs to their varied uses made by his customers. It places the photographer's activity amongst his peers, at a time when the profession of photographer of architecture requires an important technical knowledge in particular to avoid parallax and the distortions of the perspective. Our study analyzes the way in which architects, administrations or building contractors have used Durandelle's photographs to serve their economic and professional interests both during the architectural design and during the construction or to promote their realization once the building is completed.
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Charlotte Leblanc. Louis Emile Durandelle (1839-1917), un photographe au service de l'architecture. Art et histoire de l'art. PSL Research University, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018PSLEP003⟩. ⟨tel-02133678⟩

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