Click main image below to view enlargements and captions.

View, France, Paris, La Palais de Justice, Max Berthelin, Antique Print, 1859


Max Berthelin (1811-1877) (after)
Charles Nègre (1820-1880) (photoengraver)
Paris, La Palais de Justice
Lamoureux, Paris: 1859
Hand-colored steel plate photogravure
Signed and dated in the plate: Max Berthelin 1857
14.75 x 20.75 inches overall

Detailed bird’s-eye view of the Palais de Justice in Paris on Île de la Cité, which houses the principal institutions of the French judiciary. The view takes in the massive structure that occupies four hectares of land. It also shows the Seine River and distant buildings and landmarks, including the iconic French cathedrals of Sainte-Chapelle and Notre Dame. This print was one of 17 plates published under the direction of architect Pierre-Victor Calliat in 1859, all related to a major reconstruction project of the Palais de Justice that was approved in 1838, though the final stage was not completed until 1868. The Palais de Justice had suffered several fires during the 17th and 18th centuries, though portions had been rebuilt during the 18th century. Berthelin’s plate illustrates an overall view of the building complex and its surroundings as reconstructed. The other 16 plates show the various facades and floors of the building by other architects on the reconstruction project — Lenormand, Duc, Dommey, and Gilbert et Diet.

Product Description Continues Below


Max Berthelin was a French watercolorist and architect. He studied at the Academy of Beaux-Arts and early in his career worked under the direction of Baltard on the illustration of an album offered to Queen Victoria during her visit to Paris. He exhibited in several Salons between 1835 and 1852, and is best known for his architectural views. Berthelin also served as the architect of the Eastern Railway. In 1847, he was an attaché of the Historic Monuments Commission. In 1852 he was an inspector of the work on the Sainte-Clotilde Church.

Charles Nègre was a painter and pioneer of French photography, best known for his landscape and architectural photographs of Paris, Chartres and the Midi region in southern France. In 1839 he came to Paris to study painting under Paul Delaroche, and later apprenticed with Ingres for a few years beginning in 1843. He exhibited regularly in the Salon in the 1840s and 1850s. Nègre began taking landscape photographs in 1844 as reference material for his paintings, although they later became ends in themselves and he became renowned as a photographic printer. However, he never stopped painting. He retired in 1863 and died in Cannes. His works are in museum collections, including the Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Inscription in plate lower right margin: “Héliographie du acier par Ch. Nègre.”

Condition: Generally very good with usual overall light toning and wear. Margins a little short, with chip in margin restored.


Bauchal, Charles, Nouveau Dictionnaire Biographique et Critique des Architectes Français.  Paris: André. Daly fils, 1887. p. 609.

Bénézit, E. Dictionnaire critique et documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs. France: Librairie Gründ, 1966. Vol. 1, p. 611.

Bibliographie de la France, Journal Général de L’Imprimerie et de la Librairie, Vol. 48, 2nd Series, No. 3. Paris: Cercle de l’Imprimerie, de la Librairie et de la Papeterie, 15 January 1859.

Blumberg, Naomi. “Charles Nègre.” Encyclopaedia Britannica. 11 October 2014. (5 December 2014).

“Charles Nègre.” J. Paul Getty Museum. (5 December 2014).

“Palais de Justice de Paris.” Wikipedia. 24 November 2014. (5 December 2014).

Additional information


19th Century