French illustrator Vincent Mah has long been fascinated by the narratives that cities and their architecture offer to the observer, providing glimpses into our history. Walking through the streets of Paris, Mah began to develop the idea of creating a book that relied on imagery alone to tell the story of the “City of Lights.” This concept eventually led to the creation of his visually rich 750 Years in Paris, a forthcoming book from Nobrow Press that focuses on the evolution of a building in one of the oldest parts of Paris, and how it has developed over time.
The book begins in 1265, showing a simple stone structure that begins to grow, page by page. In 1348 Mah includes details hinting at the destruction of the black plague in the city; 1789 gives a glimpse at the French Revolution, and so on. For the artist, these architectural structures can tell us a lot about a city’s past. “Generations have lived here before us, they’ve walked on this very same pavement, they’ve been under that same sky,” he says. “They left us buildings, like testimonies from the past.”
Through his illustrated history book, Mah creates a visual time machine which tells the story of Parisian past in an appealing and interesting way. 750 Years in Paris is currently available to purchase through Nobrow Press.
Storming of Bastille
Construction during Haussmann’s standardization of architecture
Opening of the Paris Metro
Nazi occupation during WWII
The “Glorious Thirty” when economy flourished
Events of May, student riots and strikes
Charlie Hebdo Massacre