The image of Paris

Cleaning up in the Louvre

Among the several photographers capturing the accident at Gare Montparnasse, Henri Roger-Viollet (1869-1946), with whose photo we started the previous post, was certainly the most renowned and most refined one. Born in a distinguished Paris family, he belonged together with his elder brother Ernest Roger among the age’s most prominent and prolific inventors. Their names were mentioned together with the Lumière and Nobel brothers, and Henri Roger – who also took up his wife’s name on his marriage – was a highly estimated astronomer as well. But photography was also among his many passions. Experimenting from the 1890s, he invented a number of procedures of trick photography, and until his death he tirelessly documented the life of Paris. His several thousand photos made with an attention to little details and small changes, and with a good humor, are now preserved in the Roger-Viollet photo agency founded in 1938 by his daughter Helène.

Threefold self-portrait


Restoration of the Notre-Dame


The Seine’s flooding at the St-Lazare railway station. On 29 January the water level reached the absolute altitude record of 9.50 m


Autumn in the garden of the Tuileries, 1945