Sunday, June 5

Electric Paris


John Singer Sargent, In the Luxembourg Gardens, 1879
"Paris had been known as the City of Light long before the widespread use of gaslight and electricity. The name arose during the Enlightenment, when philosophers made Paris a center of ideas and of metaphorical illumination. By the mid-nineteenth century, the epithet became associated with the city’s adoption of artificial lighting: in the 1840s and 1850s, gas lamps were first installed, while electric versions began to proliferate by the end of the 1870s. Even as rivals, including Berlin, London, New York, and Chicago, increased the quantity of light in their rapidly electrified cities, Paris managed to maintain its reputation because of the beauty of its illuminations. Light remained and remains to this day a key signature of the French capital. ..."
Bruce Museum (Video)
NY Times: The City of Lights, When It Was First Lighted
Art New England

No comments: