While working on a longer piece about Paris real estate, I had a flashback to one of my favorite views of a typical immeuble parisien. I first saw it when studying Balzac in college. It is by Bertall, in Le Diable à Paris, 1845. Intended as a comic cut-away view of life inside a Parisian house, it shows many stories in each storey. Look at the concierge and cook on the rez-de-chaussée. The luxurious life of the bourgeois couple on the 1er étage. Each room is a marvel to analyze. Follow up the stairs.
Finally, in the chambres de bonne on the top floor: bohemian artists cavorting; the umbrella; the weeping mother.
Of course, this is a pre Haussmannian building. Haussmann built seven-storey buildings, usually with balconies on the 2e and 5e etages.
Still an element or two in this illustration that many Paris residents might identify with today, I warrant.
Click on the image to enlarge.
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