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Avignon (Flood of 1856) (Avignon [Inondation de 1856])

A work made of salted paper print.
CC0 Public Domain Designation

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  • A work made of salted paper print.




Édouard Baldus
French, born Germany, 1813–1889

About this artwork

Acclaimed in his day for architectural photographs and images of the changing French landscape, Édouard Baldus produced several significant commissions for the French government. In June 1856, unprecedented floods in the Rhône Valley destroyed entire sections of Lyon, Avignon, and other towns that dated to Roman times and left tens of thousands homeless. Sent by the government to record the devastation, Baldus returned after eight days with twenty-five negatives that revealed nature’s fury in quietly dramatic images. This print is one segment of a six-part panorama, photographed on the banks of the Rhône in Avignon, which originally measured over seven feet in total length. Ernest Lacan, the well regarded editor of the photography journal La lumière, made particular note of the panorama, arguing that in an already remarkable career Baldus had only now arrived “at a perfection so complete.


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Photography and Media


Edouard Denis Baldus


Avignon (Flood of 1856) (Avignon [Inondation de 1856])


France (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

Made 1856


Salted paper print


Image/paper: 29.3 × 44 cm (11 9/16 × 17 3/8 in.)

Credit Line

Purchased with funds provided by Elena Urschel; through prior gifts of Mr. Arnold Crane, David C. and Sarajean Ruttenberg, Max McGraw, and Reva and David Logan

Reference Number


IIIF Manifest  The International Image Interoperability Framework (IIIF) represents a set of open standards that enables rich access to digital media from libraries, archives, museums, and other cultural institutions around the world.

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Extended information about this artwork

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