36 views of the Eiffel Tower minus a few

36 views of the Eiffel Tower

The 36 views of the Eiffel Tower is a series of wooden engravings. Well-famed engraver Henri Rivière sketched and printed them in the 19th century. These pictures show various areas of the French capital from which one could catch a glimpse of the famous iron lady.

Above picture: from the pont Mirabeau and its beautiful 1910 steel railings.

36 Views of the Eiffel Tower
A classic view of the Eiffel Tower from Swan Island (l’île aux cygnes) complete with autumn leaves and blue sky. Perfect picture postcard

36 Views of the Eiffel Tower

Henri Rivière, a lover of Japanese prints, was inspired by the most famous of the Japanese painters, Hokusai. Hokusai painted and engraved the 36 Views of Mount Fuji between 1831 and 1833.

A century after Rivière, comics draughtsman André Juillard published a wonderful modern book following in reverse first footsteps.

Engraving number 10 of the 36 views of the Eiffel Tower from Swan Island, i.e. l’île aux cygnes.

On Tuesday, October 11, I took a bunch of friends on a stroll around the area, which is barely a stone’s throw from where our offices are located at the south-west of Paris.

The aim of this little photo outing was to take pictures of the Eiffel Tower, either as the main subject of the photograph, or as a background element of that picture, in the way that Rivière did 140 years ago.

About Henri Rivière and the 36 views of the Eiffel Tower

André Juillard ’s wonderful opus (2022 new edition)

Henri Rivière (1864–1951) began his career as an artist by drawing, then by engraving and specifically etching from 1882. The same year, he became the editorial secretary of the Chat Noir magazine. He was also the director and set designer of the shadow theatre of the Chat Noir and was its artistic director until the cabaret closed in 1897. He regularly stayed in Brittany, which became one of his inspirations, just like the Japanese prints he collected.

At the time, painters were inspired by the Japanese aesthetic. In the Thirty-six Views of the Eiffel Tower, Henri Rivière took up the principle initiated by the Japanese painter Hokusai in his thirty-six views of Mount Fuji, namely a series comprising the same motif.

The thirty-six views of the Eiffel Tower show the Tower from different angles, seen from different places from the beginning to the end of its construction.’

[Source: Paris Libris Blog]

36 views of the Eiffel Tower
This time I chose to take a blurry picture of the Tower, using the wired fence as a, somewhat irregular frame

Javel and the 1900s railway station

You might feel that it is a little strange that one could call a railway station ‘bleach’ (Javel in French). This is just because it happened the other way round. It’s bleach the French named after this area. Originally, Javel is the location where one produced bleach.

I love that railway station.

Juillard also used this diminutive yet beautiful building in his book of watercolours of the 36 views of the Eiffel Tower.

The ticket office at the Javel station, a turn of the century building

Long before it became a district of the 15th arrondissement, there was a village near the Seine, the village of Javel. Thanks to its windmill and its guinguette, the place quickly became attractive in the 17th century by attracting fishermen and bathers. In 1784, the village welcomed a chemical factory, located near the ‘Moulin de Javelle’. This was a prestigious enterprise, to say the least, since the owners were none other than noblemen, close to Louis XVI’s brother, the Count of Artois. The factory was intended for washerwomen, more commonly known as blanchisseuses. At that time, there were many of them on the banks of the Seine.

Source: Zig Zag Paris

Yann Gourvennec
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