The photographer Pierre Yves-Petit, who called himself 'Yvon', wandered the streets of Paris between the First and Second World Wars looking for the moment when the shifting light and clouds would perfectly reveal the city's ephemeral, iconic beauty. The dramatic images of the city and its people that he made during those years would become the most popular postcards in France. They are still sold today on Parisian quais and are eagerly sought by collectors. With an eye for startling viewpoints and unusual weather conditions, Yvon photographed the city awakening at dawn, in the shimmering afterglow of rain or seen over the shoulder of a gargoyle high up on a cathedral. Yvon's Paris reproduces more than one hundred of his loveliest images, many made from recently discovered glass negatives. This elegant and poetic collection captures the magic of Paris at its most photogenic - the way many of us romantically wish it still was.
Robert Stevens is a photographic history lecturer at the School of Visual Arts and the International Center of Photography in New York.