These rare color photos of Paris were taken over 100 years ago. 

In 1909, a wealthy French banker named Albert Kahn wanted to document the world using a new color photo process called Autochrome Lumière, so he commissioned 4 photographers to take their cameras all over the world.

One of the cities they documented was Paris.

Starting in 1914, Kahn’s photographers, Leon Gimpel, Stephane Passet, Georges Chevalier and Auguste Leon, documented life in Paris using color filters made from dyed potato starch grains.

They made these color photos over a century ago (with a small amount of color enhancing done on the original shots).

In addition to the many shots of Paris, around 72,000 Autochromes from around the globe were created through Kahn’s project.


Julien Knez brings the past to the future by placing photos of Paris from the 19th and 20th centuries against their modern-day counterparts to reflect on how much the city has changed, yet still remains familiar. 

Jardin du Luxembourg, 1895

The Moulin Rouge, 1900

Riverside booksellers, Quai de Conti, 1900

Arc de Triomphe, 1909

“Odéon” Station. Passengers traveled by boat when the metro tracks were flooded in January 1910.

River Seine, Notre-Dame, 1930

Le Printemps, Boulevard Haussmann, 1930

Adolf Hitler standing at the the Place de l’Opéra on June 23, 1940, the day after Germany established occupation of France.

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

Notre-Dame, 1944

h/t: My Modern Met

Source: Julien Knez Twitter