The Palais du Trocadéro


More ephemeral architecture and also another example of old exposition architecture. The Palais du Trocadéro was designed by Gabriel Davioud for the 1878 World’s Fair and until its demolition in the 1930s faced the Eiffel Tower across the Seine after that edifice had been constructed as the entrance arch for another fair, the Exposition Universelle of 1889. Davioud designed other less extravagant works for Paris, including the Fontaine St Michel which I photographed during one of my visits there in 2006.

The Trocadéro is something of a heavy-handed confection, ostensibly “Moorish” in that Orientalist fashion favoured by 19th century architects. The numerous photographs of the place give it the same quality of ghostly grandeur that so many these long-demolished buildings possess; we’re able to look at a very real place which has now vanished utterly. The bridge in the picture below still stands, however, and the balcony of the Trocadéro’s replacement, the Palais de Chaillot, gives great views of the Eiffel Tower and the river.


Previously on { feuilleton }
The Evanescent City
Ephemeral architecture
Winsor McCay’s Hippodrome souvenirs

The art of Charles Robinson, 1870–1937


‘Fair and False’, Songs and Sonnets by William Shakespeare (1915).

More illustrated gems from the collection of books at the Internet Archive. Charles Robinson, as mentioned earlier, was the older brother of illustrator William Heath (there was also a third illustrator brother in the family, Thomas). Charles was so prolific it’s difficult to choose one work over the many examples available in the Internet Archive, so here’s a brief selection from different books. If you only look at one of these, his oft-reprinted edition of A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson is especially fine. There’s a distinct Art Nouveau flavour to much of Charles Robinson’s work and he also devoted more attention to page layout than his younger brother, many of his drawings being presented within sinuous frames and augmented by some very elegant lettering. If they haven’t been digitised already at Fontcraft’s Scriptorium, some of these type designs would make great fonts.


A Child’s Garden of Verses by Robert Louis Stevenson (1895).


Lullaby-land : Songs of Childhood by Eugene Field (1897).


Fairy tales from Hans Christian Andersen (1899).


‘The Red Shoes’, Fairy tales from Hans Christian Andersen (1899).


The Story of the Weathercock by Evelyn Sharp (1907).


The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde (1913).

Elsewhere on { feuilleton }
The illustrators archive