All images by Thibaud Poirier. Used with permission.
Photos of beautifully designed spaces are always a delight, but this series by Paris-based photographer Thibaud Poirier will especially make bibliophiles salivate. Simply called “Libraries,” the set is his homage to Europe’s stunning libraries which remain more than just book repositories to this day. If he sees them as temples of cultural worship and palaces of self-discovery, we can say that devoting his craft to showcasing their beauty is a form of utmost reverence.
There’s more to this series than the grandeur of each library and the sheer size of the collections they hold. Poirier takes us back in time, guided by the idea that literature provided scholars and peers glimpses of humanity’s past, present, and future with every turn of the page. Each magnificent space, distinct in charm, architectural style, and elements, also seemingly offer the most ardent of bibliophiles a different kind of visual and literary adventure.
“It was the first means of travel offered to many and continues to be the most accessible form of escape for millions of people seeking knowledge, the world, themselves,” he added.
Poirier made use of tasteful symmetry to show the character and classical values of beauty embodied by each library. This ensures that the eyes are lead to the striking details and opulent interiors. Despite this, the books don’t actually take the back seat in his photographs, especially those of the Trinity College Library in Dublin and the Stadtbibliothek in Stuttgart, which exhibit books in their multitude.
Another interesting source of inspiration for him is the notion that while libraries are public spaces, reading has always been a private and solitary experience. Whether it’s in the absence of readers in every expanse or in the suggestion that the studying tables can also encourage lonely reflection, he makes a strong interpretation of the “solitude that one feels when immersed in reading.”
Visit Thibaud Poirier’s Behance page to see the rest of “Libraries.”