At Untapped Cities, the recent terrorist attacks that occurred in Paris hit extremely close to home. As the city recovers, it is important to remember Paris’ vibrant and sometimes tragic history so we can appreciate the city’s ongoing strength and vitality. While the New York Times recently featured vintage photographs of the blocks in the Paris attacks, Vincent Mahé’s new book, 750 Years in Paris, published by Nobrow Press, brings to live the City of Lights’ many triumphs and trials through architectural illustrations. Dating back to as early to 1265 and ending in 2015, Mahé focuses on a single block in the to highlight the historical events and time periods that have shaped this magical city.
Fast Co. Design reported that the Paris-based illustrated was inspired to create the book simply walking through the city’s streets. In an interview with Fast Co., Mahé said, “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. That gave me the idea to make a time machine out of it.” Take a look at some of his illustrations below. (Captions from Fast Co. Design)
750 Years in Paris, a forthcoming book from Nobrow Press by Vincent Mahé, offers a visual history of the City of Light.
As time progresses, the building slightly changes. 1789 shows the Storming of the Bastille.
“Most of the events depicted were obvious—World Wars, French Revolution, uprisings etc.—other pages were just meant to be daily life scenes,” Mahé says. This shows the city-wide renovation Haussmann initiated in 1853.
1943 depicts the Nazi occupation of Paris during WWII.
1968 shows the Events of May in which strikes and student riots took place in the city
2015 shows the Charlie Hebdo protests. “I started the book in 2013, before the event of Charlie Hebdo,” Mahé says. “The book wasn’t supposed to end like this originally, but this was Paris’s history going on right before us. It had to be in there…By the way, why not start reading the book from the end? ‘Back from the future’ style.”