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Established 1981


Charles Marville

French, 1816-ca. 1880

Charles Marville Photography

Charles Marville was a painter and a lithographic artist, but he is most well known for his photographs of Paris in the 1860s. Unfortunately, there is not much information on Charles Marville's life other than the impressive body of work he left behind. Sometime in the1850s Charles Marville was asked to document the old quarters of the French capital by the government's Commission for Monumental Historical Monuments. Marville purposely took the photographs of Paris's architecture and streets scenes when it was raining, so that the soft diffused light mixed with the rain on the cobblestone produced a picturesque image that elicited a feeling of perfection. One of Charles Marville's good friends was Blanquart-Evrard and through the years he published many of Charles Marville's images, including a group of his negatives of France and Germany in the album Art Religieux in 1854.

It has been said that Charles Marville accomplished "documentary perfection" with his images of Paris before it was destroyed by Napoleon III and Baron Haussmann's urban renewal projects. Charles Marville's body of photographs is one of the few records left of Paris before 1870. Charles Marville's work can be found in collections at the IMP/GEH in Rochester, NY, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, The Museum of Modern Art, New York City, and the Bibliotheque Nationale in Paris. A book containing many works by Charles Marville entitled, Marville Paris was published by Hazan in 1994.


  • Richard R. Brettell, Roy Flukinger, Paper and Light: The Calotype in France and Great Britain, 1839-1870, Boston, MA: David R. Godine, 1984.
  • Jacqueline Chambord, Charles Marville, Bloomington, IN: Eastern Press, Inc., 1981.
  • Malcolm Daniel, Inventing a New Art Early Photographs from the Rubel Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art., New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1999.
  • Peter Galassi, Before Photography: Painting and the Invention of Photography, New York: The Museum of Modern Art, 1981.
  • Lucien Goldschmidt, Weston J. Naef, The Truthful Lens: A Survey of the Photographically Illustrated Book, 1844-1914, New York: The Grolier Club, 1980.
  • Maria Morris Hambourg, Pierre Apraxine, Malcolm Daniel, The Waking Dream. Photography First Century Selections from the Gilman Paper Company Collection, New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1993.
  • Robert Hershkowitz, Daniel Newburg, Some Early European Photographs, London: Art and Photographs, 2002.
  • Tom E. Hinson, Catalogue of Photography: The Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, OH: Cleveland Museum of Art, 1996.
  • Andre Jammes, Eugenia Parry Janis, The Art of French Calotype, 1845-1870, Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1983.
  • Isabelle Jammes, Blanquart-Evrard et les Origines de l Edition Photographique Francaise, Geneve, Paris: Librairie Droz, 1981.
  • Richard Pare, Photography and Architecture: 1839-1939, Montreal: Canadian Centre for Architecture, 1982.
  • Martin Parr, Gerry Badger, The Photobook: A History Volume I, New York: Phaidon Press Limited, 2004.
  • Alain Paviot, Galerie Octant, Charles Marville, Paris: Galerie Octant, 1978 November-December.
  • James Snyder, Gary Sokol, Beyond Time: Photographs from the Gary B. Sokol Collection, Jerusalem: The Israel Museum, 2006.
  • Marie de Thezy, Roxane Debuisson, Marville Paris, Editions Hazan, 1994


Member of The Association of International Photography Art Dealers (AIPAD)