Saturday, November 10, 2012

Stockdale Map of Paris 2

Becket, November 2, 2012

Sorry flaq, skipped a couple of days.  Back to the map.

In a current aerial of Paris it's very easy to identify the Louvre--actually the continuos axis that goes from the Cour Carée just west of the Pont Neuf all the way to the Place de la Concorde (and even farther along the Champs-Élysées to the Arc and beyond)--but in this 1800 map there is a whole lot of stuff, irregular fabric, between the large square of the palace and the Tuileires.  And there is no Grand Palais (or Petit Palais for that matter) that will have to wait another century to be built.  While looking at the area, I notice that the octagon of La Concorde is labeled "Lewis the XV. Place", which tells you that our English draughtsman is copying a map dating from before the revolution, before the statue of Louis XV standing on his horse was replaced by the guillotine used to behead Louis's unfortunate grandson in 1793.

The Tuileries is one of several large rectangles of axial composition that already appear in this 1800 map.  Just on the other side of the river are Les Invalides and the Ecole Militaire, also recognizable in their regular geometry of monumental buildings and open spaces.  In the case of the last one, the Champ de Mars ends in an island that by 1800 was already annexed to the Rive Gauche that would provide the ground for the Eiffel tower in almost a hundred years.  A the time, these figures were at the edge of the city, although now are very much embedded into the fabric and appear as distinctive large voids.

Woops, almost 300 words.  Oh, well, it compensates for not writing yesterday or the day before.

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