Vantail de la porte Saint Marcel, Notre Dame, Paris

about 1853
Bisson Frères (French, active in 1841–1864), Inclusive of Auguste-Rosalie Bisson (French, 1826–1900), Inclusive of Louis-Auguste Bisson (French, 1814–1876)


Image: 39.2 x 25.6 cm (15 7/16 x 10 1/16 in.) Mount: 55.8 x 36 cm (21 15/16 x 14 3/16 in.)

Accession Number


Medium or Technique

Photograph, albumen print

Not On View


Europe, Photography



The Bisson frères were among the most prominent French photographers of their day. Active in photography since the 1840s, the firm excelled at large-scale photographs of architecture and sculpture. In this detail of Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, the Bissons showcase the genius of medieval ironwork and sculpture. The flat composition, reminiscent of an ornamental engraving, uses a deep zone of shadow to divide, and thus highlight, the intricate wrought-iron arabesques decorating the door and the elongated figure of Saint Marcel adorning the trumeau.


Titled on mount, bottom center: Vantail de la porte Saint-Marcel,/ dite Sainte Anne; On mount, l. r.: Bisson Fréres Photog. Imp. Lemercier, Paris.; On mount, l. l.: à Paris. A. Morel, éditeur, rue Ste Anne, 18


Lee Gallery, Boston; purchased September 1990.

Credit Line

Charles Amos Cummings Fund