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This week we speak of one of the leading photographers of the nineteenth century the bohemian Paris: Gaspard-Felix Tournachon, better known as Nadar (1820-1910) , of which we have in our collection with several carte de visite his last period as a portraitist. It was such a renowned photographer who was an honor to pose for him . Among the personalities portrayed by Nadar include painters like Delacroix, Monet or Manet, writers like Dumas and Victor Hugo, poets like Baudelaire, but also went through their political study, actors and other public figures.
Nadar self-portraits, left in photography and the right as a caricature
Felix Nadar was a photographer, illustrator, caricaturist, painter, balloonist and writer who also was the first to take aerial photographs of the history , in 1858, performed with a camera from a hot air balloon. it was also the first photographer to use artificial light. in addition, to him we owe the first snapshots of the catacombs of Paris thanks to the use of artificial light.
Nadar began using photography as a mere tool to portray the characters who later caricatured the success of his cartoons encouraged him to embark on a major project. large lithographs of a thousand famous people of Paris, known as the" Panthéon swimming." his . wit and pungency made him gain the nickname of swimming, derived from" Tourné à dard" (dard means sting) at that time, it was when it opened in 1853 his first photographic studio together . his brother Adrien in fact, did together one of the works that earned Nadar gold medal at the Universal Exhibition of 1855 by a series of photographs of the mime Deburau.
his interest in aeronautics, shared hobby with his friend Jules Verne, led him in 1858 to get the first aerial views of Paris taken from the" Geant" (Giant), a balloon with built propeller specifically for such a feat. As a result of this discovery, the first images were obtained to" bird's eye view" and began to use this technique also for military purposes in 1870, during the Prussian siege of Paris Commune in. war Fanco-Prussian aerial photographs of Nadar managed with great confidence to save Paris from his occupation. anticipating what would be their most likely targets, the amount of weapons available, the possible support that would have enemy forces However, the French army never . he came to recognize their true value, however, the writer Julio View ne itself that was inspired by his friend Nadar in his book" Five Weeks in a Balloon" , in 1863, and to the honored in another of his works," From the Earth to the Moon" by naming his protagonist Miguel Ardan (is easy to see that Ardan is an anagram of Nadar)
Researchers and academics have identified three stages in the work of Nadar: the first when he worked with his brother Adrien in the 1850s, when he took only two or three portraits by day his portraits emphasize above all the expression of the model.. in a second step, the study of the Boulevard des Capucines, acquired in 1861, which printed several dozen photographs per day. it was at this time when he came to collect 100 francs per portrait. And a third stage, when he moved his studio in 1872 the street Anjou, where he devoted himself to portraying only friends and celebrities Moreover, while . Nadar always tried to flee the technique of the photographs" lit" (or colored), it is noteworthy that finally ended yielding to the flatterer and excessive retouching commercial competition and tastes of the SOCIETY ad that moment he demanded. And it is precisely this last time when the carte de visite" enlightened" who work in our collection
Swimming not It was just the first to go up to heaven and down to the sewers to take pictures, but was also the creator of the first photo-interview , together with his son Paul. In 1886, Paul Nadar took 12 shots interview his father to the French chemist Chevreul (1786-1889). It was published in" Le Journal Illustré" as a fotonovela. Felix Nadar died at age 90 and survived all his characters from the" Panthéon Nadar" . At his death he left more than 450,000 glass plates, which are held by the daughter of Paul Nadar.