Ever since Daguerre snapped the very first photograph on the banks of the Seine, the City of Light’s intrinsic nostalgia and timeless glamour have cast their spell on generations of shutterbugs. A repository of the capital’s chequered history, and rich pictorial legacy, Paris. Portrait of a City celebrates La Ville Lumière across a vibrant tapestry of 300 pictures by the likes of Daguerre, Brassaï, Doisneau, and Cartier-Bresson.

From workadays scraping a wage in Les Halles and street urchins larking around under the shadow of the Occupation, to timid lovers huddling against the bracing wind bathed in the Eiffel Tower’s glow or a fly-on-the wall shot of Toulouse-Lautrec conferring with a cocotte at the bordello, the wistful tome immortalises the monumental and the everyday, capturing a city in flux and occasionally turning an unforgiving lens on its sordid underbelly. An evocative and quite extraordinary ode to Paris…

Paris, Portrait of a City, by Jean-Claude Gautrand, List price £44.99, published by Taschen

From France Today magazine

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