The photographer Pierre Yves-Petit, who called himself "Yvon," wandered the streets of Paris between the world wars looking for the moment when the shifting light and clouds would perfectly reveal the city's ephemeral, iconic beauty. The dramatic images of the city and its people that he made during those years would become the most popular postcards in France. They can still be bought today on Parisian quais and are eagerly sought by collectors.
With an eye for startling viewpoints and unusual weather conditions, Yvon photographed the city awakening at dawn, in the shimmering afterglow of rain, or seen over the shoulder of a gargoyle high atop a cathedral. Yvon's Paris reproduces more than one hundred of his loveliest images, many made from recently discovered glass negatives. This elegant and poetic collection captures the magic of Paris at its most photogenic-the way many of us romantically wish it still were.
Robert Stevens is a lecturer at the School of Visual Arts and ICP. He lives in New York City.