Gabriel Loppé
The Eiffel Tower hit by lightening

The Eiffel tower struck by lightning
Gabriel Loppé (1825-1913)
The Eiffel tower struck by lightning
1902
Paper print
H. 17.5; W. 12.5 cm
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d'Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski

La tour Eiffel foudroyée [The Eiffel Tower hit by lightening]


Photographers' interest in the Eiffel Tower did not dry up on its completion. From the balcony of Gabriel Loppé's flat in avenue du Trocadéro, the monument was a favourite subject whether illuminated with garlands or as here, lit up by flashes of lightening against a stormy sky.

On 15 June 1905, the photographer, also known for his painting, wrote to Gustave Eiffel. “I have no prints, at the moment, of the shot of the tower being struck by lightening. After having lost a lot of negatives through carelessness on the part of professionals to whom I gave them to make prints, I have decided to do all the irksome processes myself so that I can give some to my friends. Therefore I will prepare some fixative to make the two prints your correspondents have asked you to send. Up to now I have developed very few, and have given them to five or six of my friends and also to a few people whom I do not have the honour of knowing but whom I hold in great esteem; for you, Sir, who created the most unusual and modern monument; the only monument to give me that feeling of immense space, of variety, of the delicacy and the radiance of the Paris sky, of this atmosphere which the factory chimneys have not made dirty with their smoke, and which envelops the Paris landscape with such artistic harmony and charm."


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