Home / Art

Artist Fuses Vintage Photographs with Present-Day Paris to Make History Come Alive

These historical composites layered over modern day scenes showcase the timeless postcard perfection and rich narratives that flow through the streets of Paris. By combining past and present portraits of the famous French capital, art director Julien Knez showcases just how many changes the City of Lights has seen over the past 100 years. 

After receiving access to the Parigramme photo archives, Knez scouted out matching present-day locations to create his distinctive images. With a little editing, he was able to insert history into contemporary settings and, voila, a window into the past was opened. The vintage pictures date anywhere from the 1870s to the late 1960s, and capture some of the extraordinary political, social, and cultural events that have occurred in the beloved city of Paris.

The following images have been selected from Knez's latest book Paris: Fentres sur l'Histoire and his clever visuals make the history of this vibrant city come alive.

Above: Tour Eiffel, 1900

Notre Dame, 1944

A joyful Liberation scene on August 25, 1944.

La Seine. Notre-Dame, 1930

Le Grand Palais, 1944

Rue Gay-Lussac, 1968

Le Moulin Rouge, 1900

The Moulin Rouge, which opened in 1889, drew clientele from all over, all eager to see the French cancan.

Place de l'Opra, 1940

June 23, 1940, the day after Germany established occupation of France, Hitler made a lightning trip to Paris. His two hour tour of the capital included Notre Dame, Invalides, the Arc de Triomphe and, as seen here, the Opera.

Rue du Faubourg-du-Temple, 1871

Quai de Conti, 1900

Passersby at the bouquinistes, or riverside booksellers.

Htel-de-Ville, 1944

Two friends celebrate the liberation of Paris at Place de l'Htel de Ville, in August 1944.

Place Vendme, 1871

“Odon” Station (Mtro), 1910

Passengers traveled by boat when the metro tracks were flooded in January 1910.

Arc de Triomphe, 1909

The now-defunct double-decker trams dropped passengers off next to the Arc de Triomphe.

Le Printemps. Boulevard Haussmann, 1930

Jardin du Luxembourg, 1895

Julien Knez: Twitter
via [MashableCreative Boom, Bored Panda, Golem13]

Become a
My Modern Met Member
As a member, you'll join us in our effort to support the arts.
Become a Member
Explore member benefits

Sponsored Content