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In Front of the Gare Saint-Lazare, ParisEnlarge image

In Front of the Gare Saint-Lazare, Paris, 1992

Geoffrey James
British, Canadian, 1942
gelatin silver print
63.5 x 71.2 cm; image: 37.9 x 46.1 cm
Purchased 2003
Canadian Museum of Contemporary Photography (no. 2003.11)
© Geoffrey James

The photographer faces the rue d’Amsterdam, one of a series of streets in the neighbourhood named after major European cities. The Gare Saint-Lazare, the oldest railway station in Paris, is just beyond the frame of James’ photograph of the Cour du Havre. Originally constructed in 1837, slightly to the north of its current location, the station was rebuilt four years later. Major reconstruction began again in 1885 in preparation for the Universal Exhibition of 1889; it was at this point that the Cour du Havre was built. As a representation of modernity, the Gare Saint-Lazare became an emblem for the Impressionist painters, especially Édouard Manet and Claude Monet. A work by the French-American sculptor Arman, "L’Heure de Tous", a totem pole of clocks welded together, each stopped at a different time, was installed in the Cour du Havre in 1985 and is visible to the left of James’ photograph.

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