Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Early 1900s Paris in Colours

Rue Lepic

After the success of 1920 Egypt in Colours, this is Early 1900s Paris in Colours.

In 1909, French wealthy banker Albert Kahn commissioned four photographers, Leon Gimpel, Stephane Passet, Georges Chevalier, and Auguste Leon to travel to the five continents of the globe and capture coloured photographs. Like the National Geographic ones of 1920 Egypt, them too used a then-relatively new technique, Autochrome Lumière — developed in 1903 and patented in 1904 by Auguste and Louis Lumière (the Lumière brothers) — in order to bring colour, and life, to the white and grey photography world.

The ambitious project took many years to complete and gave birth to around 72,000 Autochromes. The following are some of what they captured in the City of Love & Light, taken from a collection at the Albert Kahn Museum in Paris. This stunning photo documentation began before the outbreak of WWI which had put an end to La Belle Epoque.

I also added
the BBC documentary The Wonderful World of Albert Kahn — Europe on the Brink to help you travel back in time even more. Enjoy.

A Parisian family posing outside their home

A horse pulling a cart filled with rubble resting on the road under glorious skies

A vegetable garden (jardin potager) on the banks of the Seine with a view of the Statue
of Liberty (
La Statue de la Liberté) and the Tour Eiffel

The old Trocadéro Palace seen from underneath the Eiffel Tower

A French airplane

Early cinema Aubert Palace at Les Grands Boulevards

The entry of passage du Caire, 33 Rue d’Alexandrie

The famous Moulin Rouge before being destroyed by a fire in 1915

A boy pushing an overloaded cart through a picturesque square between
Rue Sainte-Foy and Rue d’Alexandrie

French soldiers probably awaiting deployment at Boulevard Exelmans,
Station Auteuil

A young flower seller and her wagon

Place de la Republique, 1918

Fruits vendors and their carts

Flower sellers at La Madelaine

A general with a wooden leg wearing his medals and standing next to a cannon

A homeless man napping by the Seine

A young girl riding a scooter down Avenue Hoche

A flower seller standing in front of a Zig-Zag poster

Hôtel de Ville, City Hall of Paris
8 and 10 Rue du Montparnasse

Palais des Gobelins, Cinéma PathéAvenue des Gobelins

A bright yellow zeppelin

Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Denis and La Porte Saint Denis

View over the Seine with Notre Dame in the distance

Le Grand Cinéma Plaisir at 95 Rue de la Roquette showing a poster of the
1911 film
Quai d'Orsay, 1923

The gorgeous flower market at Les Halles looking like a painting

Having electricity in a hotel was like having Internet nowadays, Rue Mouffetard

Look at those colourful posters

Esplanade des Invalides during l'Aéro Club Grand Prix, 26 September 1909

Hot air balloons in the Grand Palais, a historic exhibition site


1920s Egypt in Colours

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