The autochrome above is one of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker, between 1909 and 1931. Kahn sent thirteen photographers and filmmakers to fifty countries “to fix, once and for all, aspects, practices, and modes of human activity whose fatal disappearance is no longer ‘a matter of time.'”* The resulting collection is called Archives de la Planète and now resides in its own museum at Kahn’s old suburban estate at Boulogne-Billancourt, just west of Paris. Since June 2016, the archive has also been available for viewing online here.
On Monday. . . running a little late this week.
We spent December 23 to 27 in Venice, Italy. The photos above show the arcades along Piazzetta di San Marco and Piazza San Marco on Christmas and on Boxing Day (in fog).
The current colonnaded buildings enclosing the square on three sides (and the west side of the Piazzetta) were built in the 16th century. Their arcades front a number of coffee houses, including two of the oldest and most famous in Italy: Florian (1720) and Gran Caffè Quadri (1775).
Of course, we had due caffè espresso at Florian, which was easily possible because tourists are far fewer during Christmas week. The coffees were €6.50 each, but they were very good (and there was a cookie and water).
(The water carafe was adorable, and I now regret that I didn’t buy one and hold it on my lap on the plane. I’m very tempted to order it from their website. Also, check out the wonderful terrazzo floor at their entrance here; I forgot to take a photo of it.)
To scroll through more (and larger) images, click on ‘Continue reading’ and on any thumbnail in the gallery.
More beautiful photochroms of France from the Library of Congress. . . . Enjoy.
“The Tuileries garden, Paris, France.”
“The Square and the Place D’Arcy, Dijon, France.”
“Royal Palace and hotel de ville, Caen, France.”
“Hotel de ville, posts and telegraphs, Vichy, France.”
“Monks’ promenade, [Abbey of] Mont St. Michel, France.”