It’s the flâneur, the wanderer, that is, who really sees Paris. Anyone visiting the capital can find their way to the Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe, but it’s the casual observer of its urban life who finds the city’s other treasures. The Façades of Paris: Windows, Doors, and Balconies reveals a different cityscape, one defined by sculpted arabesques, spirals, bows, curves, and interlacing forms, often of roses, acanthus leaves, and tendrils that decorate buildings. In between patient visits, illustrator Dominique Mathez, a French doctor, walked the boulevards of her city—watercolors, brushes, ink pens, and paper in hand—to document exterior ornamental architectural details (highlighting flourishes in cast iron). Most of the Paris we experience dates from 1853–1870, when Georges-Eugène Haussmann redeveloped the city, tearing down miles of picturesque, if not squalid, neighborhoods. The urban renewal scheme resulted in wide boulevards lined with six-story mansard-roofed buildings. It’s on the initial two floors that the sculpted forms appear, all visible to the pedestrian yet often unseen. The book’s introductory essay emphasizes how “under the Second Empire, Paris becomes a theater for appearances meant to dazzle the rest of the world.” Next time you are in Paris, look up to these buildings and be dazzled by a city likely unfamiliar to you. – David Masello