During World War I, the French government commissioned thousands of color photographs.
Color film was to remain rare for another two decades, and the color film used in France during the war was undeniably primitive, yet France’s photographic archive of World War I is of an amazing standard, historic and unparalleled among countries fighting in the war.
In March and April 1917, photographers descended upon the destroyed city of Reims to photograph the city’s destruction—as well as the city’s inhabitants.
The photograph above was taken on March 28, 1917.
The photograph below was taken on April 5, 1917.