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Marvelous French Monuments: A Collection of Rare Photographic Prints (Heliogravures)

105 days, 1 hours and 20 minutes.

In 1949, during the tenure of President Edouard Herriott, the French Government invited famous photographers to capture images of the country’s historic buildings, structures, monuments and pictorial art. A publishing branch of the government, ‘La Documentation Francaise’, eventually reproduced these photographs as a portfolio, using the “Heliogravure” printing technique. One of the oldest forms of reproducing photographic images, this intaglio printing method employs a photochemical process to recreate the image on a copper plate and eventually onto paper using special inks.  

Under the direction of Herbert Levallois, these Heliogravures were first made available to art enthusiasts in the post-war period of December 1949. The 65 prints in this collection represent the rich history of French monuments, many of which have been declared as heritage sites by the UNESCO.