Edouard-Denis Baldus (France, 1813-1882): Notre-Dame with Scaffold. Waxed salt print, 8-1/4" x 11",circa 1859.
Nearly all of the statues have been returned to the Gallery of the Kings by this point in the restoration of the Cathedral. Baldus exhibited photographs of Notre-Dame as early as 1854. Around 1858 he produced a large-format view from a perspective virtually identical to the image shown here, but showing no trace of the construction work.
It therefore seems likely that Baldus deliberately chose to re-photograph the Cathedral in order to document the restoration work in progress. And that suggests this photograph was created with the historical record, rather than the tourist trade, in mind.
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