2020 Fine Sporting Art, American Paintings, and Sculpture

33| Karl Pertgen (German, b. 1881)

The Grand Boulevards of Paris

Signed

Oil on canvas, 33" x 75"

$20000. - $30000.

Provenance: Sotheby's, New York, April 18, 2007, lot 68

Signed

The Boulevard du Temple in Paris follows the path of the city wall constructed by Charles V and then demolished under Louis XIV. The current boulevard was built between 1656 and 1705. From the late 1700s to 1830 the boulevard was considered quite fashionable, and the caf_s and the theaters previously located at the Saint-Laurent and Saint-Germain moved there. The grand theaters depicted here from left to right are as follows: the Th_?tre Lyrique, Th_?tre Imp_rial du Cirque, Th_?tre des Folies-Dramatiques, Th_atre de la Ga?t_, Th_atre des Funambules, Th_?tre des Funambules, Th_?tre des D_lassements-Comique, and Th_atre Lazary. After a time, the Boulevard du Temple was nicknamed Boulevard du Crime for the crime melodramas that enjoyed widespread popularity at the surrounding theaters. In 1835, Guiseppe Fieschi attempted to kill King Louis-Philippe as he was visiting one of the boulevard?s many theaters. The attempt was unsuccessful but resulted in the deaths of 18 civilians and left 23 onlookers injured. Also important to note, Louis Daugerre captured the iconic street in one of the earliest daguerrotypes, and the resulting photograph is believed to be the earliest surviving photograph showing a person. A man who coincidentally stopped to have his shoes shined and who therefore remained still was captured on the plate. All other traffic rushing through the street vanished due to the length of exposure, which came close to half an hour. Baron Haussmann?s radical transformation of Paris saw this area dramatically modified. Many of the 18th-century theaters were demolished upon the construction of Boulevard du Prince Eug_ne. The construction of the new street was part of an enlargement of the Place de la R_publique, and it was built to Haussmann?s specifications. Paved, wide sidewalks were incorporated along with a modern drainage system meant to propel Parisian aesthetics into the 20th century. Today only the Th_?tre D_jazet still stands.

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