The Light of Paris
As king Francois I once said: “Paris is not a city, it’s a world.” Long after the swarming crowd has deserted it, at dusk or dawn, after the hum and buzz of traffic has subsided, Paris still resonates with a life of its own: muted, subdued, and mysterious.\n\nThat’s precisely the moment photographer Jean-Michel Berts has elected to capture it, in black and white. From Opera to Montmartre, along the banks of the Seine or its Grands Boulevards, stepping in the footprints of Baudelaire, Brassai, Huysmans, framed by Berts’s camera obscura, the buildings, completely deserted streets, and even its trees and empty flights of stairs take on a poetic, ethereal, almost dream-like quality.\n\nMuch more than a hymn to the City of Lights and featuring a beautiful text by the French novelist Pierre Assouline, this book is a moving homage to Paris, seen as a virtuoso sculptor’s masterpiece. Each of the prints are given ample breathing space in this volume, whose opulent trim size befits the spectacular quality of the shots.\nAbout the Photographer and Author\n\nDespite a promising scientific career, Jean-Michel Berts chose a different path – to become a photographer. With his first Rolleiflex, he became sensitive to the effects of light. Since the eighties he has worked as a still life photographer for several well-known cosmetics and perfume brands. While involved in this field, he pursued a body of work with a more personal focus, called City Portrait. To achieve this unique rendering, it took him more than one year of work and research.\n\nA writer and journalist, Pierre Assouline has published some twenty books. Editor-in-chief of Lire magazine during twenty years, he is now a columnist for Le Monde 2 and Le Nouvel Observateur.
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