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The Halles by Eugene Galien Laloue

The Halles

In 1135, Louis VI had a market settled in the center of Paris. In 1183, Philippe-Auguste had two buildings erected for the Saint-Ladre fair.

From 1852 to 1870 Baltard had them replaced with ten metallic blocks, that were to be called “the belly of Paris”.

Galien-Laloue - ses oeuvres

« In the still of the night and the desert of the avenue, the farmers’ carts jolted up to Paris along the façades of silent houses standing in a straight line behind the dim shapes of the elm-trees. Their even-rolling wheels echoed in the streets. A cabbage-loaded cart and a wagon of peas had joined the eight carts of turnips and carrots coming down from Nanterre. The horses knew their way and were walking slowly at a lazy and commander pace. Their heads hanged low and their movements were slowed by the steep road. Above, on the piles of vegetables, the carriers, covered with their black-and-grey-pin-striped capes lay flat on their stomachs, dosing, the reins around their wrists.

From Time to time a street lamp suddenly revealed from the dark the nails of a shoe, the blue sleeve of a smock, one side of a cap pointing among the enormous and overflowing green and white bouquets of turnips, peas and cabbages. And on the road, on the nearby roads, behind and in front, one could hear in the distance the rumbling of other carts and carriages proceeding through the streets, through the darkness of the city at two o’clock. And the silent night was filled with the sound of wagons of food passing by. »

Emile Zola

A magnificent gouache depicting the Paris of the 19th century. Note the large size of the canvas, the details on the painting – particularly the advertisements and the horses, rarely seen in Laloue’s works, the light and the typical Parisian lady encountered so often.

Galien-Laloue - ses oeuvres 


« In 1889, coming from the Provinces to Paris… I hardly knew anybody and each passer-by I came across puzzled me. Each time I wondered if it were not a celebrity. Every day I imagined I was going to meet a poet I loved, a prose writer I admired… »

Guillaume Apollinaire
Galien-Laloue - ses oeuvres

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