The Eiffel Tower
When it opened in 1889, just a few months before the Exposition Universelle for which it was commissioned, Parisians-from Dumas to de Maupassant-were appalled by the “useless and monstrous” tower Gustave Eiffel had planted in the heart of their beloved city. That enmity, however, was short-lived, and today the Eiffel Tower stands magnificently as one of our most beloved architectural landmarks, a testament to the artistry of 19th-century engineering, and the visual signature of the City of Light.
The Eiffel Tower is a pictorial study of the great structure by acclaimed architectural photographer Lucienne Herv, who began photographing the tower in his youth in the 1930s, and continued shooting it until he retired from photography in the 1990s. His ethereal images manage to convey the delicate balance between the tower’s elegant ironwork and its sheer physical force. Ranging from pictorial studies of the tower in the Paris landscape to abstract compositions of iron and glass, his photographs are modern masterworks themselves. Architectural historian Barry Bergdoll, one of the preeminent scholars of 19th-century architecture, provides an introduction describing the controversial history of the tower.
About the Author
Lucienne Herv is an architectural photographer whose work has been exhibited and collected worldwide. He lives in Paris.
Barry Bergdoll is a Professor of Art History at Columbia University in New York.