Yvon's Paris

Yvon's Paris

5.0 2
by Robert Stevens
     
 

Photographs of the City of Light taken by a master photographer in the early part of the twentieth century.
The photographer Pierre Yves-Petit, who called himself “Yvon,” wandered the streets of Paris between the world wars looking for the moment when the shifting light and clouds would perfectly reveal the city’s ephemeral, iconic beauty. The

Overview

Photographs of the City of Light taken by a master photographer in the early part of the twentieth century.
The photographer Pierre Yves-Petit, who called himself “Yvon,” wandered the streets of Paris between the world wars looking for the moment when the shifting light and clouds would perfectly reveal the city’s ephemeral, iconic beauty. The dramatic images of the city and its people that he made during those years would become the most popular postcards in France. They can still be bought today on Parisian quais and are eagerly sought by collectors.
With an eye for startling viewpoints and unusual weather conditions, Yvon photographed the city awakening at dawn, in the shimmering afterglow of rain, or seen over the shoulder of a gargoyle high atop a cathedral. Yvon’s Paris reproduces more than one hundred of his loveliest images, many made from recently discovered glass negatives. This elegant and poetic collection captures the magic of Paris at its most photogenic—the way many of us romantically wish it still were.

Editorial Reviews

Vanity Fair
“While most postcards showed straightforward, unimaginative views of the capital city, one photographer in particular—Pierre Yves Petit (who called himself Yvon)—sought to change that by capturing Paris in the early mornings and late nights, when the light was more dramatic, or in unusual weather conditions.”
Washington Post
“Yvon’s Paris offers dozens of glorious photographs, many filling two pages—flat paper magically alive with moments stolen from time. ... Yvon’s photographs beautifully remind us that our own fleeting lives are the motion lost in slow exposures.”
National Geographic Traveler
“This stunning collection presents a hundred iconic black-and-white photographs of Paris taken from 1918 to 1939 by Pierre Yves-Petit, who went by “Yvon.” … His moody photos of bookstalls, bridges, barges, gargoyles, galleries, and gardens capture the quintessence of the City of Light.”
The New York Times Book Review
“Gorgeous.”
The New York Times "Lens" blog
“Are Yvon’s photographs as resonant as they are because they capture the spirit of Paris so well? Or is Paris as resonant as it is because it captures the spirit of Yvon’s postcards so well?”
Michael Sims
Yvon's Paris offers dozens of glorious photographs, many filling two pages—flat paper magically alive with moments stolen from time: flower sellers, bargemen, weary blinkered horses, a boating party in the Bois de Boulogne. Yvon's masterful framing and atmospheric perspective can turn the Palais du Luxembourg ghostly behind the garden trees or contrive a lively photo from the sight of a man perched atop an extendable ladder to water flowers in the Tuileries.
—The Washington Post
Caroline Weber
…[Yvon] published his first photo essay in 1919…a series of six melancholy cityscapes in which overcast skies played a starring role. Reproducing these and some 70 other black-and-white snapshots in a gorgeous new collection called Yvon's Paris, the photographic historian Robert Stevens emphasizes Yvon's extraordinary "instinct for poetic light." By exploiting the romantic potential of Paris's clouds, mist and fog—in their ceaseless interplay with the sun—Yvon created images that "stand well apart from views made by so many other photographers, who usually preferred sunny weather."
—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393051483
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
05/17/2010
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
9.40(w) x 11.20(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

Robert Stevens is a lecturer at the School of Visual Arts and ICP. He lives in New York City.

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Yvon's Paris 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
TrentJerome More than 1 year ago
After waiting years for the release of this book, I was extremely happy this year to see the release! Yvon was such an incredible photographer, and to be able to find out more about the artist, as well as to see some of his photography which was transferred from the original plates for this book, is a thrill! This is a great gift for the person who loves Paris, or simply loves striking, beautiful photography. To see Paris as it was 80-90 years ago is quite interesting; seeing what's changed and what hasn't. Definitely get this book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book. I appreciate it as someone who loves Paris and as a former photographer. The images are memorable. The first time I visited Paris the weather was overcast and cloudy. The black and white pictures perfectly captured my memories of that trip. Color has its place, but black and white is so much better here. At some point I would like to have some of these remarkable photographs on the walls of my home.