Paris Commune

Les Ruines de Paris, 1871, together with five views from "Insurrection de Paris, 1871."

Photograph album containing a list of plates followed by 20 mounted photographic prints of buildings or locations which were presumably damaged during the defeat of the Commune, including the Tuileries, the Hôtel de Ville, Rue de Rivoli, and the Palais Royal. Oblong folio, images approx. 14.5 x 21.5 cm. Original publisher's gilt-lettered rose coth, recently rebacked. Boards toned along extremities, some minor wear, very slight dampstain to table of contents, very sllght warping to last few plates from moisture. Paris (Wulff) n.d. (circa 1872). Together with: five views from Wulff's series "Insurrection de Paris, 1871", images mounted to blue-grey cardstock, several captioned below images, image size 21.5 x 15.5 cm.Stock slightly brittle, minor chipping and soiling.

The 1871 Paris Commune marked a new era in the history of documentary photography. Previously, photographs were thought to be truthful "mirrors of reality". At this time, however, the Thiers government began to doctor photographs to show the alleged atrocities of the Communnards. Wulff was one of several photographers who was roaming the streets of Paris during the Bloody Week leading to the fall of the Paris Commune, taking photographs to later sell commercially as a part of what would come to be called "disaster tourism". At least one of Wulff's contemporaries, A. Liébert, was guilty of the afore-mentioned doctoring of photographs, although Wulff appears to have abstained in this practice.
The five views from "Insurrection de Paris" included here depict: Bt. St. Martin, Rue Royale, and Temple S. Marie, along with two unlabeled views of Canal de la Villette, and a destroyed warehouse with a burned sign reading "Magasin General".
The album is quite uncommon, especially in its complete state; as of November 2020, OCLC notes only one holding in a North American institution.

Book ID: 51072

Price: $2,750.00