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Jérusalem Revisited: On Auguste Salzmann’s Photo-Topography*

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Auguste Salzmann published an extensive photographic record of Jerusalem in 1856 in the form of a three-volume book called Jérusalem. This publication has been characterized as an inadequate document, an imperialist narrative, and a forerunner of modernist aesthetics. This essay argues that this existential dimension of the photographic image is central to arriving at an adequate understanding of the context and objectives that resulted in the book Jérusalem. While this publication remains an important document in the history of western expansion and visual styles, the current essay draws attention to Salzmann’s understanding of photography’s ability to make its referent—Jerusalem—present again to those who view his photographs.


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Affiliations: 1: Trent University


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