Édouard Baldus (French, 1813-1889)
"Souterrains de la Nerthe," circa 1861
Albumen print from a paper negative
33.5 x 43.7 cm
Here, Baldus presents an opposition between the immovable mountain, which seems to engulf the tunnel's entrance, and the black arch at the center of the picture. By highlighting the barrenness of the setting, the seeming impenetrability of the stone, and the limitless blackness within, Baldus suggests the scope of what was the most difficult engineering work on the Lyons-Marseilles line and the longest tunnel yet in France.- from Malcolm Daniel's The Photographs of Édouard Baldus (NY: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1994), pp. 88-89.