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December 19, 2011

BRILLIANT FRENCH PHOTOGRAPHER-NADAR TOURNACHON

Filed under: nadar tournachon — Tags: — jherzlinger @ 12:27 pm

I have always been in love with photography, as you know.  I have recently become acquainted with the work of NADAR TOURNACHON and his brother ADRIEN TOURNACHON.  This post is on Nadar and what I have learned about him  I do hope you enjoy his work as I fell in love with his style.

Have a great day! Love,

Jamie

To the question—“Who do you think is the world’s greatest photographer?”—French essayist Roland Barthes provided a simple, one-word answer: “Nadar.” And in the history of French photography in the nine- teenth century, there are few who rival the artistry and output of this

man who lived for eighty years of the nineteenth century and ten of the twentieth century.

Nadar’s notoriety in photography came after successful careers first in writing and publishing and then in caricature. Based in Paris, Nadar met and communed with a large circle of late-Romantic artists and writers, as well as the radical social thinkers of the time. This circle considered

itself bohemian and in opposition to anything bourgeois; it was politically and socially liberal and believed in the importance of art, personal integrity, and freedom of self-expression.

Nadar’s turn to portrait photography appears to be a natural progression from his work in caricature. Already focused on capturing the essence of individuals’ physi- ognomy through drawing and then mass producing the caricatures through lithography, Nadar possessed the aesthetic

and interpersonal skills to use the medium of photography to its best advantage. Not only did he study with a photographer producing the finest-quality prints in Paris in 1854, but he also had a ready-made clientele, as well as name recognition. His circle of acquaintances was very broad, and

many up-and-com- ing and established artists, writers, and social activists had already sat for Nadar. One of two extant albums that Nadar used for guests to sign when sitting for their portraits comprises over 400 names (with accompanying commentaries or samples of drawing, music, or poetry)

of the most famous individuals working in music, art, poetry, fiction, politics, and the military in a twenty-year period between the mid-1850s and the early 1870s.

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