This is a c. 1845 Jules Arnout view of the façade of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. The view depicts the front of Notre Dame from the left, with the entire left side of the cathedral illustrated along the street that ran parallel it. A large group of people are illustrated entering the cathedral through the door on the left and others are shown milling about in the square in front of Notre Dame, going about their daily lives. Two carriages are parked in front of the cathedral. The cathedral's two stunning towers rise high above the square, surveying the goings-on much as they had for centuries. The iconic rose window is beautifully drawn in as much detail as was possible, as is the entire façade. The Hôtel-Dieu hospital, the oldest hospital in Paris, is depicted on the right side of the view, with a large crowd of people climbing its steps.
Publication History and CensusThis view was drawn by Jules Arnout 'd'après nature', which implies that he sketched the view while sitting in front of Notre Dame herself. It was printed by the Lemercier firm and published by Henri Jeannin c. 1845. We are aware of only one example in institutional collections at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris.
Jules Arnout (June 1, 1814 - 1868) was a French artist, painter, and lithographer active during the mid-19th century. Arnout created works depicting landscapes and French, Swiss, Italian, and English cities.
Rose-Joseph Lemercier (June 29, 1803 - 1887) was a French photographer, lithographer, and printer. One of the most important Parisian lithographers of the 19th century, Lemercier was born in Paris into a family of seventeen children. His father was a basket maker, and he even began working as a basket maker at the age of fifteen, but Lemercier was drawn to lithography and printing and soon entered into an apprenticeship with Langlumé, where he worked from 1822 until 1825. After working for a handful of other printers, Lemercier started his own firm in 1828 at 2, rue Pierre Sarrazin with only one printing press. He subsequently moved a few more times before arriving at 57, rue de Seine, where he founded the printing firm Lemercier and Company. Lemercier created the firm Lemercier, Bénard and Company in 1837 with Jean François Bénard. Lemercier bought out Bénard's share in the firm in 1843 and, since his two sons died at a young age, he decided to bring his nephew Alfred into the business beginning in 1862, who would progressively take on more and more responsibility in running the firm. Between 1850 and 1870, Lemercier's firm was the largest lithographic company in Paris. The firm began to decline in prestige in the early 1870s, and, after Lemercier's death in 1887, its descent only quickened. It is unclear when the firm closed, but Alfred directed the firm until his death in 1901.
Henri Jules Jeannin (fl. 1829 - 1854) was a French print publisher active in Paris in the mid 19th century. Jeannin maintained offices at No. 20, Rue du Croissant in Paris from 1829 - 1835 and then move is office to No. 20, Place du Louvre in Paris. Little else is known about Jeannin.
Very good. Even overall toning. Soiling along bottom and top margins. Blank on verso.