The first major exhibition in the United States devoted to 19th-century French artist Charles Marville explores the beauty, variety, and historical poignancy of his art. Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris features nearly 100 photographs that span Marville's entire career.

At the heart of the show are the images for which Marville (1813–1879) has been most celebrated: rigorously composed, beautifully detailed prints that he made beginning in the early 1860s as official photographer for the city of Paris. One of photography’s early masters, Marville has long been a mystery, partly because documents that would shed light on his biography were thought to have disappeared in a fire that consumed Paris’s city hall in 1871. However, new research has helped to reconstruct his personal and professional biographies.

Charles Marville (1813-1879), Charles François Bossu, was one of the most talented photographers of the 19th century. Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris shows the City of Light taking shape through prints carefully selected for their perfectly calibrated compositions, exquisite technique, and exceptional state of preservation. Many of Marville’s photographs depict Paris at the very moment of its transformation from a city of narrow streets and medieval buildings into the most modern of European capitals. He was commissioned by the city of Paris to document both the picturesque, medieval streets of old Paris and the broad boulevards and grand public structures that Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann built.


Rue de Constantine. Charles Marville.1865

His compelling urban views show Paris both before and after historic neighborhoods were razed to make way for broad boulevards, monumental buildings, and manicured parks. Featured works from Marville's early career also include landscapes, cityscapes, studies of sculpture, and striking architectural photographs made in Paris, across France, and in Germany along the Rhine.

This exhibit will be on view from June 15th to September 14, 2014 at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Lectures about French Photography and Art History are organized at the MFAH Brown Auditorium around this exhibit:

History, Modernity, and Nature in Early French Photography

presented by Malcolm Daniel, curator in charge, department of photography and special projects

Malcolm Daniel explores the historical, aesthetic, and technical currents that influenced French photography in the 1850s and 1860s, a time when artists of exceptional talent took up a fully mature but still handcrafted medium and created pictures that remain among the greatest masterpieces made with the camera. This talk is followed by a related lecture, “Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris in the Age of Haussmann.” A reception to meet the speakers, and viewing of the exhibition Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris, follow the second lecture.
 
 

Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris in the Age of Haussmann

presented by Sarah Kennel, associate curator, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, Washington, and organizing curator of the exhibition Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris

Sarah Kennel introduces the life and work of Charles Marville, an artist-turned-photographer who documented Paris during a period of tremendous upheaval and urban transformation.  As official photographer for the city of Paris, Marville recorded in lush detail both the streets and structures of the old city that was slated for imminent destruction as well as the emerging spectacle of the new city, complete with extensive pleasure parks, elegant, broad boulevards and ornate gas lamps. Brilliantly merging artistic sensibility with documentary intent, Marville’s photographs of Paris offer a powerful and evocative account of modernity and modernization in the City of Light.

Sunday, July 13 I  3 PM

Paris: Becoming the City of Light

presented by Helga K. Aurisch, curator of European art

The Paris of 1850 did not differ much from the Paris of 1789. But by the last third of the 19th century, the city played a central role in the cultural life of its inhabitants. The physical city, the its grand boulevards and squares, cafes and theaters, gardens and monuments—with the river Seine threading its way through the center—its cosmopolitanism and its electric spirit inspired an extraordinary level of innovation in all of the arts. In the field of painting, in particular, traditions and conventions two centuries strong were sidestepped in favor of radical new forms of representation. The paintings of that now most beloved of art movements, Impressionism, would have been unthinkable without Paris. Helga K. Aurisch explores the intimate relationship between the transformation Paris’s medieval fabric into the City of Light, and the radical innovations that energized all of the arts in Paris in the late 19th century.

Sunday, August 17 I 2 PM

More information on the events and lectures here

MFAH - Beck Building 5601 Main Street - Houston, Texas 77005

Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris

When
June 15 - September 14, 2014
Where
MFAH - Beck Building
5601 Main Street - Houston, Texas 77005

The first major exhibition in the United States devoted to 19th-century French artist Charles Marville explores the beauty, variety, and historical poignancy of his art. Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris features nearly 100 photographs that span Marville's entire career.

At the heart of the show are the images for which Marville (1813–1879) has been most celebrated: rigorously composed, beautifully detailed prints that he made beginning in the early 1860s as official photographer for the city of Paris. One of photography’s early masters, Marville has long been a mystery, partly because documents that would shed light on his biography were thought to have disappeared in a fire that consumed Paris’s city hall in 1871. However, new research has helped to reconstruct his personal and professional biographies.

Charles Marville (1813-1879), Charles François Bossu, was one of the most talented photographers of the 19th century. Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris shows the City of Light taking shape through prints carefully selected for their perfectly calibrated compositions, exquisite technique, and exceptional state of preservation. Many of Marville’s photographs depict Paris at the very moment of its transformation from a city of narrow streets and medieval buildings into the most modern of European capitals. He was commissioned by the city of Paris to document both the picturesque, medieval streets of old Paris and the broad boulevards and grand public structures that Baron Georges-Eugène Haussmann built.


Rue de Constantine. Charles Marville.1865

His compelling urban views show Paris both before and after historic neighborhoods were razed to make way for broad boulevards, monumental buildings, and manicured parks. Featured works from Marville's early career also include landscapes, cityscapes, studies of sculpture, and striking architectural photographs made in Paris, across France, and in Germany along the Rhine.

This exhibit will be on view from June 15th to September 14, 2014 at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Lectures about French Photography and Art History are organized at the MFAH Brown Auditorium around this exhibit:

History, Modernity, and Nature in Early French Photography

presented by Malcolm Daniel, curator in charge, department of photography and special projects

Malcolm Daniel explores the historical, aesthetic, and technical currents that influenced French photography in the 1850s and 1860s, a time when artists of exceptional talent took up a fully mature but still handcrafted medium and created pictures that remain among the greatest masterpieces made with the camera. This talk is followed by a related lecture, “Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris in the Age of Haussmann.” A reception to meet the speakers, and viewing of the exhibition Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris, follow the second lecture.
 
 

Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris in the Age of Haussmann

presented by Sarah Kennel, associate curator, department of photographs, National Gallery of Art, Washington, and organizing curator of the exhibition Charles Marville: Photographer of Paris

Sarah Kennel introduces the life and work of Charles Marville, an artist-turned-photographer who documented Paris during a period of tremendous upheaval and urban transformation.  As official photographer for the city of Paris, Marville recorded in lush detail both the streets and structures of the old city that was slated for imminent destruction as well as the emerging spectacle of the new city, complete with extensive pleasure parks, elegant, broad boulevards and ornate gas lamps. Brilliantly merging artistic sensibility with documentary intent, Marville’s photographs of Paris offer a powerful and evocative account of modernity and modernization in the City of Light.

Sunday, July 13 I  3 PM

Paris: Becoming the City of Light

presented by Helga K. Aurisch, curator of European art

The Paris of 1850 did not differ much from the Paris of 1789. But by the last third of the 19th century, the city played a central role in the cultural life of its inhabitants. The physical city, the its grand boulevards and squares, cafes and theaters, gardens and monuments—with the river Seine threading its way through the center—its cosmopolitanism and its electric spirit inspired an extraordinary level of innovation in all of the arts. In the field of painting, in particular, traditions and conventions two centuries strong were sidestepped in favor of radical new forms of representation. The paintings of that now most beloved of art movements, Impressionism, would have been unthinkable without Paris. Helga K. Aurisch explores the intimate relationship between the transformation Paris’s medieval fabric into the City of Light, and the radical innovations that energized all of the arts in Paris in the late 19th century.

Sunday, August 17 I 2 PM

More information on the events and lectures here

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