Mapping Paris

Mapping Home: Thesis

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"Indeed it is through a precise repertoire of looks and glances that a 'physiology' of the city, moral as much as physical, is mapped out. The visual ordering of space has become a vehicle for articulating cultural values" (Green, 12)

Renoir, The Grand Boulevards, 1875 Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia


The quote above illustrates how Paris as a city reflects Paris as a people. Paris saw the beginning and the end of the French Revolution. The geography of Paris before the Revolution of 1789 mirrored its social hierarchy. The Revolution was a product of the increasing tensions between the old Aristocracy and the growing bourgeoisie class. Technological, social, political, and economic changes in Paris, as seen through different representations such as historical maps and Victor Hugo's Les Miserables, reflect the change from an aristocratic to a modern, bourgeoisie society realized in Baron Haussmann's massive building program of the 1860's.

 

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