Friday, 20 July 2012

Quai de la Tournelle photographes

Quai de la Tournelle (II) Photographes
Finding Guinegaults "Quai de la Tournelle" (before posting), probably not the finest of renderings of this location but definitely was one of the less expensive. Following my stream of consciousnes and exploring the location I now understand why there are so many paintings and prints from and seen from this Paris landmark. 
Quai  de la Tournelle seen from the Notre Dame.
Between Pont de Sully (upper), Pont de la Tournelle (middle) and  Pont de l'Archevêché (lower)

It's because one of the most famous and beautiful cathedrals in the world, le Notre Dame, is best viewed from this quay. Far more dramatic and impressive  then seen from streetlevel above. Were the bookstalls are.
Two photo's taken from Pont de la Tournelle towards Pont de l'Archevêché.

Before showing a selection of paintings and etchings here are some great photographs from around the time most works of art were also created: 1880-1920.

Personally I was most intriqued by the little unloading crane that is visible (but often not) in photo's and paintings and in Guinegault's print. And of course by the working people, the carts and horses and stacks of goods unloaded on the quay.  

The many quais of river Seine were vital river ports importing, storing and distributing all sort of foods, building materials, wine and fuels. The broad quay was even used as an outdoors workshop with a view by matras makers in summer.    

The oldest and most important quais are located around and in the heart of Paris, Île de la Cité and Île Saint Louis. Quai de la Tournelle, Quai d'Orleans and Quai Bethune opposite on Île Saint Louis and Quai Henri IV further upstream all overlooking l'Abside de Notre Dame, the apse or rounded rear of the cathedral.
Most commercial activities have gone now, besides the tourists of course. And see how high the Seine rose in 1909/10 floading large parts of the city:

This photo by Paris photographer Eugène Atget (1857-1927) taken a year later in 1911 under Pont de l'Archevêché when the Seine was back to normal levels. Looking downstream at the next Quai de Montebello opposite Notre Dame,
from where he shot Notre Dame and the Seine probably standing underneeth  Pont de l'Archevêché.
His colleagues saw the beauty of the quais and the working people too: Eduard Jean Steichen 1879-1973: fire wood transportation from the quais.
and Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004) with his 1948 birds eye view of Quai de la Tournelle (upper right).

All photo's borrowed freely from the Internet. See here* (link) for some more great contemporary photo's.

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