A bird's eye view :examining Haussmann era aerial paintings of Paris
Baron Haussmann was named Prefect of the Seine Department in France by Napoleon III in 1853, and he began transforming Paris into a modern city. He created parks for recreation and large public squares and markets, lined streets with gas street lights to make the city more pedestrian friendly, and implemented an architectural model that gave Paris a unified look. His transformation of the city literally changed the map. As city workers were mapping out the new city, artists were also looking down upon the new areas of Paris and recording what they saw. By looking at aerial paintings from the mid and late 19th century, this thesis explores the effects of the modernized city on the population of Paris. Paintings by Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Edouard Manet, and Gustave Caillebotte demonstrate how each artist's personal viewpoints informed their images of the Parisian urban landscape.