A city in album : Auguste Bordes (1803-1868)

69 images

In 1845, the architect and historian Auguste Bordes published a book, Histoire des monuments anciens et modernes de la ville de Bordeaux. This book, lavishly decorated with prints and vignettes, analyzes the main sites and buildings in the city.

The prints were made by Emile and Adolphe Rouargue. But it’s the architect himself who realized watercolors in 1840 as preparatory work. These are assembled in two albums, both preserved in the Archaeological Society of Bordeaux and in the Bordeaux Archives.

The album from the Bordeaux Archives contains 69 drawings (following class number : FI recueil 125). Bordes proposes archaeological or anecdotal visions. He likes to evoke scenes of everyday life. The representation of monuments is often a pretext for animated scenes, which combines characters, animals…
This kind of representation is in vogue in the mid-nineteenth century. So, painters known as Adrien Dauzats or Oscar Gué, produce very detailed and picturesque views of Bordeaux. But Bordes demonstrates awkwardness (wrong proportions in pictures). However, his watercolors are an indispensable testimony of Bordeaux's architectural heritage, visible in the 1840s.

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