An utterly captivating 1867 large-format lithograph view of Paris by Michel-Charles Fichot and Rose-Joseph Lemercier. The view looks southwest on Paris from hypothetical position above the Bassin Octagonal in the Jardin des Tuileries. The Louvre appears front and center, with the Rue de Rivoli on its left and the Seine on tis right. Notre Dame and the Ile de Cité, the Hôtel de Ville, Tour St. Jacques, and other monuments are apparent.
Exposition Universelle 1867There can be little doubt that this view as published to capitalize on general interest in the Paris associated with the 1867 Exposition Universelle. The Exposition Universelle was the second world's fair to take place in Paris, and was held from April 1 to November 3, 1867. Sponsored by Napoleon III, the 1867 Exposition Universelle followed the Georges-Eugène Haussmann renovation of Paris and marks the high-water mark of the Second French Empire (1852 - 1870). Note the broad avenues, here purposely exaggerated, the pride of Haussmann's (1853 and 1870) reimagining of Parisian public space. Through its entire run, the Exposition hosted some 50,000 visitors, most of whom came from outside of France. It had a major influence on art and culture globally, particularly in the rise of late 19th century orientalism and the Art Nouveau movement.
ChromolithographyChromolithography is a color lithographic technique developed in the mid-19th century. The process involved using multiple lithographic stones, one for each color, to yield a rich composite effect. Oftentimes, the process would start with a black basecoat upon which subsequent colors were layered. Some chromolithographs used 30 or more separate lithographic stones to achieve the desired effect. Chromolithograph color could also be effectively blended for even more dramatic effects. The process became extremely popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when it emerged as the dominate method of color printing.
Publication History and CensusThis view appeared in 1867. It was drawn and lithographed by Fichot and printed by Lemercier. There appear to be at least two editions, one entitled 'Paris en 1867' and the present view, which leaves off the date. It is possible that the dated view is smaller, but records of the view in any edition are scarce so this remains unclear. We have been able to identify only one institutional holding of this map, at the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.
Michel-Charles Fichot (June 6, 1817 - July 7, 1903) was a French artist, illustrator, painter, architect, and lithographer. Born in Troyes, he studied architecture at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Fichot is responsible for hundreds of decorative prints, most city views and architectural views, and exhibited at the Paris Salon between 1841 and 1897.
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.
Very good. Minor repaired tear, lower right margin.