{ feuilleton }


• • • Being a journal by artist and designer John Coulthart, cataloguing interests, obsessions and passing enthusiasms.


Exposition Universelle photochroms


Grand entrance.

Every time I think I’ve said enough on this subject something else turns up. I’ve linked before to the Brooklyn Museum’s tinted photographs of the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900 but these photochom prints at the Library of Congress are so sharp, detailed and subtly hued they make all other views seem crude in comparison. If you’ve seen earlier views of the exposition buildings then everything here is very familiar, albeit more lifelike than anything you’ll find elsewhere. In addition to the greater veracity, the Library of Congress also makes many of its pictures available as high-quality files. These prints and the few minutes of film footage is the closest you’ll get to this event without a time machine.


Champs de Mars.


Le Chateau d’eau and plaza.


The Palais Lumineux.


Avenue Nicholas II, looking towards the Dome of the Invalides.


Avenue Nicholas II, from the two Palaces.


The Pavilions of the Nations, II.


The Pavilions of the Nations, III.


Ancient Paris and perspective of the bridges, showing Army and Navy buildings.


Ancient Paris.

Previously on { feuilleton }
Albert Robida’s Vieux Paris
The Lumière Brothers at the Exposition Universelle
Le Grand Globe Céleste, 1900
Tony Grubhofer’s Exposition Universelle sketches
The Cambodian Pavilion, Paris, 1900
Le Manoir a l’Envers
Suchard at the Exposition Universelle
Esquisses Décoratives by René Binet
Le Palais de l’Optique, 1900
Exposition Universelle films
Exposition jewellery
Exposition Universelle catalogue
Exposition Universelle publications
Exposition cornucopia
Return to the Exposition Universelle
The Palais Lumineux
Louis Bonnier’s exposition dreams
Exposition Universelle, 1900



Posted in {architecture}, {photography}, {technology}.

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4 comments or trackbacks

  1. #1 posted by Andrea


    “Le Palais Lumineux Ponsin” reminds me the Project for a Chinese Pavilion by Michel-Barthélemy Hazon (1722-1822).

    Maybe Ponsin was inspired by that. It is a pity a great part of these buildings were destroyed after the Exposition.

  2. #2 posted by John


    Hi Andrea. Yes, both those buildings are in the faux-Chinese style which was a lot more popular in the 18th century.

    Unusually for an exposition not everything was destroyed afterwards. The new bridge was permanent, of course, and the Grand and Petit Palais still stand and are in use as exhibition spaces. I visited a show in the Grand Palais a few years ago:


  3. #3 posted by herr doktor bimler


    The Grand Entrance — that was truly the Golden Age of Radiolarian architecture.

  4. #4 posted by John


    Indeed. The 20th century could have followed Haeckel as an inspiration instead of giving us endless variations on the shoebox.






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