The Nadars, a Photographic Legend
For the first time, the BNF is devoting an exhibition to the Nadar family, Felix Nadar (1820-1910), the most famous, his brother Adrien Tournachon (1825-1903) and his son Paul Nadar (1856-1939). At the same time photographers, painters, draftsmen and inventors.Through 300 pieces, original photographic prints, drawings, prints, paintings and objects, the exhibition invites visitors to discover one of the most important workshops of the early days of photography Composed of 3 parts, it reveals the specificities of each of the three photographers, their collaborations, their rivalries, through the history of the Nadar studio.
“The Nadars by the Nadars”, is a highlight of the family history. She presents numerous portraits and self-portraits of the three photographers and Ernestine Nadar, wife of Felix and mother of Paul. We discover their personal involvement in the workshop, their complex relationships, this way they used their own image to promote their workshops and their production. They often stage themselves, and build a family legend that ranges from studio shots in the 1850s to Paul Nadar’s Kodak snapshots
“Portrait Art and Industry” is dedicated to the most famous works of the Nadar people: the emblematic portraits of the celebrities of their time. It highlights the variety of their techniques and photographic developments. It includes masterpieces of photographic portraiture by Félix Nadar and Adrien Tournachon. Félix’s friendly relations with Gustave Doré or Charles Baudelaire, for example, have made it possible to produce many portraits over the years, as have Paul, a close friend of Sarah Bernhardt. The successive Nadar workshops in Paris and Marseille are illustrated by photographs of the site.
Finally, the last part of the exhibition, “Art and Science”, links the Nadar people with the scientific news of their time, and the way in which their photographic work has been associated with scientific or technological discoveries and advances
Throughout this highly documented journey, based on pieces from the BnF collection or on loans from other museums, we travel through a history of photography.
From October 16 to February 3, 2019
BnF I François-Mitterrand
Quai François Mauriac,
Tuesday to Saturday 10am > 7pm
Sunday 1pm > 7pm
Closed on Mondays and public holidays
Price: 9 euros
Reduced: 7 euros
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