meudon - Revisiting Meudon

Meudon is a major icon in the history of photograph and its often used as an example in the evolution of photographic composition. I wanted to see if Andre Kertész’s famous 1928 Paris scene still existed, so turned to Google maps for this task.
Street View doesnt actually take one to where Kertész took his photograph. However the viaduct can be seen from adjacent locations included in Street View – a couple of these perspectives are depicted:
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As the above shows there are actually TWO viaducts in Meudon. This view from Avenue Jean Jaures shows the point at which Kertész’s steam engine was pictured crossing the valley. Below that point is the newer viaduct. If one looks carefully at Kertész’s picture, this lower viaduct can be seen under construction.
The road leading off right is Rue du Docteur Vuillieme where Kertesz took his 1928 photograph.
The upper viaduct looks different these days because it has been widened to take extra tracks across the valley.
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This is a view looking down Rue du Docteur Vuillieme, by its junction with Rue du Val in Meudon showing the viaduct in the distance. The building at the far end of the road (with its dormer windows) is the one seen in Kertész’s picture.
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A crop showing the other end of Rue du Docteur Vuillieme. The red circle is roughly where Kertész would have stood whilst taking his famous picture.
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For comparison with the previous two pictures looking down Rue du Docteur Vuillieme, this is a low-res view of Kertész’s famous 1928 photograph.

2 thought on “Revisiting Meudon”
    1. Gosh! I wrote that article in 2013 for my diploma! Its how the blog began – as an exercise for my photography diploma. I wrote a fair bit on Meudon and added this short post back in January 2013 to supplement the other posts I had done (which were all photography based from May 2012 to the summer of 2013. Google Streets was up at the time but it didn’t cover the lower part of Rue du Dr Vuillième where Kertesz took his famous photograph. I’ve just had a look at Google Streets – its great Google’s finally been down there (since June 2013) and filled in the gap! What a difference it is now (the 2018 view) – in Kertesz’s 1928 photo its rather dull and grey and there’s construction work going on under the viaduct which added drama to the composition. I much prefer Google’s 2013 view (and the 2014 view as second best too) as these are closer to Kertesz’s original concept. In 2016 the houses were covered in scaffolding – obviously they were almost completely renewed – and the later views (2017 and 2018) don’t have quite the same feel as the earlier ones because the houses now look too new! But its great to see these anyway – and thanks for letting me know! 🙂

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