Louis-Emile Durandelle is best known for his photographs of the rebuilding of Paris during the Second Empire, particularly his detailed documentation of the construction of Napoleon III’s new Opera House, which would become a symbol of the architectural and spatial modernization of the old city. From 1865- 1872, Louis-Emile Durandelle made approximately 115 photographs of the Opera House’s construction, recording interior structural details like iron supports that would get plastered over, and decorative columns and pediments that were installed high out of view on the finished building’s façade. In 1876 he published an album of the sculptural decorations of the Paris Opera building, and his photographs were exhibited and well received at the universal exhibition of 1878 in Paris, earning him medals in the universal exhibitions of 1878, 1882 and 1889. Durandelle’s photographs are precise and accomplished, created to serve technical, descriptive, historical, and bureaucratic purposes. Many of them exhibit an almost abstract formalism, possessing dramatic renderings of space that set Durandelle’s photographs apart from the architectural documentation of his contemporaries. Durandelle photographed many other building projects in Paris and the surrounding country, including the Abbey of Mont-Saint-Michel, the building of the Bibliotheque Nationale, the destruction caused by the Franco-Prussian war and the Paris Commune, and the construction of the Eiffel Tower. Major collections of his work are held by the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris; the Musee d’Orsay, Paris; and the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal.