In Color: Paris On the Eve of World War 1

Welcome to Paris in 1914. It was a time when automobiles were few, the bohemian lifestyle was flourishing, and Picasso was painting guitars while developing Synthetic Cubism. It was a moment in time when Europe was still at peace, and the French capital sat unknowingly on the eve of the First World War.


These images, captured on Autochrome film, come from the collection of banker and philanthropist Albert Kahn. Unlike so many examples which focus on famous attractions from the city, these look at everyday street life. Men share glasses of wine at a street side cafe; a horse and cart stand chained with a large load; and a troupe of actors show off their colorful costumes. In some ways life remains the same, in other largely technological ways, it is far different. One thing that hasn’t changed much: shows still happen daily at the Moulin Rouge.


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