This is a c. 1845 Jules Arnout view of the Panthéon in Paris, France. The Panthéon, located in the Latin Quarter in the 5th arrondissement, was originally built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve with the express purpose of houses the reliquary châsse containing her relics. The building was designed after a Greek cross with a massive portico inspired by the Pantheon in Rome. Construction on the Abbey of St. Genevieve, the patron saint of Paris, was completed in 1790. This, however, changed in 1791 during the French Revolution when the National Constituent Assembly declared that the Panthéon would be converted into a mausoleum for the internment of great Frenchmen. This secular monument has changed by to beig a church a handful of times, but today it plays the role of the burial place for French 'national heroes', some of whom include Voltaire, Rousseau, Alexandre Dumas, Jean Moulin, André Malraux, and Simone and Antoine Veil.
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 Panthéon, printed by the Lemercier firm and published by Bulla Frères c. 1845. We are aware of only one example in institutional collections 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.
François Bulla (fl. c. 1814 - 1855) was a French engraver, printmaker, lithographer, and printer. Born in Tessin, Bulla opened his business at 98, Rue du Temple around 1814 and moved to 38, Rue Saint-Jacques in 1821. Bulla published a catalog of his work in 1838 entitled Catalogue général des estampes et lithographies compost le fond de F. Bulla, éditeur, quaint Saint-Michel, 25 that was printed by the Imprimerie de Ducessois. Bulla's business was described in the Bazar Parisien in 1826 in this manner:
Possesses a considerable stock of prints in all formats. A print of Girodet's painting La bataille de la révolte du Caire stands out, along with allegorical and historical prints, as well as prints illustrating religious subjects. He accompanies these with a series of beautifully executed landscapes.
In 1848, Bulla entered into a short-lived partnership with Cereghetti; he then moved on to a partnership with Stampa, a Spanish editor, in 1849. Bulla retired in 1855. Bulla had five sons: Eugène (known as Bulla ainé), Joseph, Antoine, Laurent, and Jean-Baptiste. All five of his sons would adopt their father's profession and become either editors or printers. His two oldest sons established their own firms. Antoine was sent by his father to Cadiz in 1849, but when François retired in 1855, Antoine took over his father's share of the partnership with Stampa. The firm still operates to this day in Rome, Italy and is owned by Bulla's descendants.
Good. Even overall toning. Foxing. Soiling along bottom margin.