This is a c. 1845 Jules Arnout view of Les Invalides in Paris, France. Looking south across the Esplanade des Invalides, the view depicts the north façade of the Hôtel des Invalides, with Bruant's door and arched pediment easily recognizable below Hardouin-Mansart's chapel dome. Drawn after a snowfall in Paris, snow blankets the esplanade and the façade and dome of Les Invalides. A horse drawn cart moves slowly up the esplanade in the foreground, with several carriages evident further in the background. Wheel tracks weave their way through the slushy street, which are apparently well traveled since the sidewalks are still blanketed in a fresh snow. Also, pairs and small groups of people are illustrated wandering their way through the neighborhood.
Les InvalidesLes Invalides, situated in Paris's posh 7th arrondissement, is a complex of buildings that today houses museums and monuments pertaining to the military history of France, along with a hospital and retirement home for French veterans, which was the complex's original purpose. Among the museums that are part of the complx are the Musée de l'Armée, the museum of the Army of France, the Musée d'Histoire Contemporaine, and the Musée des Plan-Reliefs. The tomb of Napoleon I is located in the Dôme des Invalides, along with those of other French war heroes. Work on Les Invalides began in November 1670 and construction was finished by 1676. The building was stormed by French revolutionaries on July 14, 1789, who took rifles and cannons from its cellars that were then used to storm the Bastille that same day. Les Invalides was also the site of the degradation of Captain Alfred Dreyfus in December 1894, and his subsequent rehabilitation in 1906.
Publication History and CensusThis view was drawn Jules Arnout 'd'après nature', which implies that he sketched the view while sitting in front of the Les Invalides, printed by the Lemercier firm, and published by Henri Jeannin c. 1845. We are aware of only one example in institutional collections, which is part of the collection at the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, which is in black and white.
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. Light soiling. Blank on verso.