Place du Carrousel

Arrangement of tulips in the Tuileries Garden, Paris, May 8, 1925, by Auguste Léon, via Archives of the Planet Collection – Albert Kahn Museum /Département des Hauts-de-Seine.

These autochromes were taken at the Place du Carrousel, looking south to the Seine River. Today, there is a road and a roundabout (with a skylight for the underground shopping mall below) on this spot, which is just west of where I.M.Pei’s Pyramide du Louvre now stands.

It is also where Emmanuel Macron and his supporters celebrated his victory in the French presidential election runoff last night.

Looking southwest.

Today is La Fête de la Victoire in France. The public holiday commemorates the date of Germany’s unconditional surrender to the Allies in 1945, ending World War II in Europe.

The images above are four of about seventy-two thousand that were commissioned and then archived by Albert Kahn, a wealthy French banker and pacifist, 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.


*words of Albert Kahn, 1912. Also, the above photos (A 45 252, A 45 253, A 45 255 S, A 45 257) are © Collection Archives de la Planète – Musée Albert-Kahn and used under its terms, here.

Jardin de l’Infante, Paris

My favorite flower display in Paris last week was at the entrance to the Cour Carrée of the Louvre, near the Pont des Arts.

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But I’m a pushover for massed dahlias — these were yellow, white, orange, and dark red, mixed with some burgundy amaranth and caster bean plants in the back.

Jardin de l'infante, Louvre, Paris, Sept 2015, by enclos*ure

Jardin de l'Infante, The Louvre, Paris, September 2015, by enclos*ure

Unfortunately, a tall iron fence blocked them off from close inspection.

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 I didn’t have a zoom lens, so I did the best I could to get some useable photos by pushing the camera through the bars and holding it out.

Jardin de l'infante,detail 2, Louvre, Paris, Sept 2015, by enclos*ure

The space is named “Garden of the Princess” for Mariana Victoria of Spain.  The three-year-old Infante was brought to live in the Louvre in 1721 when she was engaged to the preteen King Louis XV.

Jardin de l'infante,detail, Louvre, Paris, Sept 2015, by enclos*ure

Although she was deemed the “sweetest and prettiest little thing,” four years later, Louis broke off the match in order to marry an older Polish princess.

Jardin de l'infante,detail 3, Louvre, Paris, Sept 2015, by enclos*ure

Mariana was sent back to Spain and later married King Joseph I of Portugal.